• Published 7th Mar 2012
  • 1,959 Views, 64 Comments

Pirates of Equestria - Lastingimage24

A battle between holy evil and blind truths takes place in the once utopian society that is Equestria. Six elements, two captains, and four Immortals struggle to clear the now blurred line between right and wrong.

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Fires of Redemption

“Like fire. Hellfire.”

Chapter 11

This wasn’t something Pipsqueak had looked forward to.

Well... scratch that. He hadn’t seen the Princess so quickly following a visit before, so this was a luxury he would never be able to turn down. But honestly, he wished it was in better terms. Pipsqueak was here to inform the Princess of his failure. Although on the surface, it didn’t sound so bad, but...

This is the first time I lost! And it wasn’t even a loss either; the pirates were as good as defeated. The crew was as good as down and he had the captain in his grasp! Alas, their flyers pulled a fast one; something he should of saw coming. They were much too aggressive.

Time and time again had Pipsqueak spoke to the Princess, joyously but straight-faced as he formally recited the mission precedings and informed her of his success, after which he would strike up a conversation about her leading affairs. As a result, she always had a greeting smile on her face as a sign of trust as he walked in, ready to speak to the first normal pony she had since their last meeting. But that what was making this so difficult. He didn’t want to betray that gorgeous and inviting smile she wore. He couldn’t bare to see it deflate, to fade like the setting sun. Yet he had to... it was his duty. Pipsqueak began to reach for the door.


The sudden cry from down the hall drew Pipsqueak’s attention away from the door. it definitely wasn’t the princess. The voice, while incredibly high pitched from panic, was masculine in nature. A Night Watch guard fumbled down towards the captain with a large winged animal in tow, pecking at him mercilessly. He tried in vain to defend himself from the violent pecks as it effortlessly floated around him and scratched him with its razor sharp talons. "Will you get this damned creature off me captain!"

Pipsqueak couldn't help but chuckle. As high of a regard he held of the Night Watch, he had to admit they were kind of assholes, certainly not deserving of their great occupational relationship with the princess. Pipsqueak decided he had enough and whistled. "Come 'ere boy, c'mon." The falcon instantly ceased its attack and eyed the captain, noticing him for the first time.

Pipsqueak gave two more short whistles as he held up his forearm for his companion. The falcon completely forgot about the guard pony and rocketed towards Pipsqueak's arm. The talons wrapped tightly around his leg, drawing some blood from the claws, but Pipsqueak remained unperturbed as he was used to the violent nature of his pet. The falcon pecked gently at Pipsqueak's face as he nuzzled the majestic beast back. "There ya go. Good boy, Vynn."

Vynn cooed lovingly and started to rub his master's face even more passionately. After a few moments, Pipsqueak retracted and motioned to his flanks, to which his pet instinctively flew to and perched on. The guard pony scoffed turned his head haughtily, as if that restored his butchered pride.

"Anything wrong at the vet?" Pipsqueak asked, skeptically raising a brow at the rude guard. He shook his head furiously.

"Tch, no, just like the other eighty-seven times you took that... thing there."

Pipsqueak really tried to contain his wit and keep gentle. Pipsqueak was technically his superior, and, although he would never let the power go to his head, he sometimes wanted to slap these attitude ridden Night Watch guards. "Good to know," he said through a fake smile and gritted teeth.

The guard pony didn't catch the subtle hint however, and pompously closed his eyes. "You should really put a leash on that thing."

"Maybe I should put you on one," Pipsqueak snapped with a monotone. That leash comment tore it. "As you were," he ordered.

"Whatever," the pony sighed, walking away. As he left, Pipsqueak sighed as well, his nerve slowly dwindling. This entire day had been emotionally draining. As much as he liked the princesses, he always had trouble dealing with authority. The fact he lets them down, after they do so much more for him and all pony kind, it really eats at him from the inside. Vynn cooed with concern as Pipsqueak gave him a reassuring nuzzle.

"Don't worry boy, I'm just a little nervous is all." Pipsqueak exhaled a mighty breath before inching towards the princess' door, stepping out of the small puddle of his blood caused by his pet. "Clawing me up didn't really help, you know." Vynn looked apologetic as he put one wing behind his head. Pipsqueak rolled his eyes and opened the door...

Luna sat at her desk that faced away from the door, against the wall, next to the balcony window, same as always. She didn’t seem to notice Pipsqueak when he entered. As an afterthought, the captain realized he really should have knocked, but he found something oddly adorable about the princess working with her little quill scribbling away. He found his welcome to just stare at her without her knowing to be overstayed a little, and decided to knock. Was that a rim or something on her muzzle?

Knock, knock “Princess?”

Luna jumped from her seat and fumbled with her magic with the odd rims on her face. She opened a drawer in her desk and shoved the item in there with aggressive impunity. During her little episode she spilt her ink, accidentally threw all the papers on the ground, and knocked over her chair. After she was complete, she stood perfectly still for a few moments, smiled, and turned to face Pipsqueak as if nothing happened. “Ah, Captain Squeak, good to see you.”

Pipsqueak wanted to laugh. He really, really did. It was just plain adorkable. Alas, laughing in the face of a Princess is usually considered rude. He was honestly surprised how well he was able to stifle his chuckle. "As you, Princess."

"You too, Vynn," the princess added with a petite chuckle. Vynn squacked in reply to the familiar voice.

"I trust you have favorable news," she asked, picking up the small mess she made. Pipsqueak looked the other way, ashamed and silent. Luna, after a few seconds, became concerned. "What's the matter, Captain Squeak?"

Pisqueak's ears sank below his neck as Vynn awkwardly stared out a window, fully aware of the tension forming. Slowly, assuredly, Pipsqueak's voice cracked out an answer. "I...I failed Celestia's assignment."

Luna nearly dropped everything she held with her magic, her expression sharpening to the shock. The room was silent, as neither party knew what to add. Luna could have cared less about the assignment, really... but Captain Squeak has never failed. That's why she picked him to be captain at that young age of eighteen. His ingenuity and intelligence was unmatched, he thought of every outcome, every option... yet here he stood, informing his princess of his failure.

The princess of the night did not mind, of course, but her concern lie in the child. He looked broken... defeated... a look she knew all too well. She felt his pain, and now she sought to ease it. "...Captain."

Here it comes, thought Pipsqueak. She's going to hate me.

"That is rather unfortunate. Why did you not simply inform my sister of this?"

Wut? Pipsqueak shifted his eyes, trying to find out who she was talking to. After figuring that, yes, she was still talking to him, he tried to sputter out an answer. "I-I, uhh... wanted... your... input?"

Luna then... Smiled? The hell...?

"This is good," Luna said striding to the room's doors and closing them fiercely.

"It is?" Pipsqueak asked, utterly confused.

"Yes, you see," the princess started, leaning towards Pipqueak's ear, causing his face to burn up a little. "My sister is not in the best of conditions at the moment. She has suffered so much loss in such a short amount of time, and I fear she may be on edge."

All bashfulness vanished as Pipsqueak became more attentive, his curiosity peaking. He rose the ear Luna was speaking into along with an eyebrow. Vynn mimicked his master's motions.

"She doesn't need more stressers, she needs rest. She must not concern herself of these matters, so..." Luna cut herself off, standing back up and speaking at normal volume. "Listen, Captain Squeak, I know that I have given you many orders along the years as my sister and your superiors have, and it cannot be ignored that I have been the major source of these tasks. But in thy current situation, and the situation of our country, I would like to make everything official. You will now only take direct orders from me, and no one else."

Pipsqueak's jaw nigh hit the floor. Was he dreaming? His face lit up like a child.

"I know you have served as an asset, a floater as you will, and have never gotten a proper title. So I hereby dub thee... Special Operations Lunar Unit Riptide." As she went through the motions, Luna really had to try not to squeal in glee. She had never done this before; it was exciting. Still, she kept her professional calm when the captain was in the room. "SOLUR." That sounds ridiculous.

"SOLUR?" Pipqueak wondered if Luna got the irony of calling her unit that. Probably. "Special Operations?" Pipsqueak was becoming faint. So, he becomes a secret agent, and he takes orders from Luna herself! It must have been a dream, a little colt's ultimate dream. Actually with Luna in the room, it was exactly like a dream he had when he was younger except in that dream there was more sweat.... "Are there other Special Ops units?"

Luna contemplated for a moment. "Yes, but they're all Celestia's, and as she doesn't get involved that often, they're not really doing much."

"But why me?" Pipsqueak asked.

"Well, think of it as a promotion."

"After I failed..." Pipsqueak's mood deflated along with his facial features.

"Foolish Squeak... Failure? Mistakes? It is how we learn, as a species. We make a mess, and then we clean it up, and make it more spotless then before. If you have never failed, you could never be perfect." Luna smiled at the captain with a hint of snark. "We adapt."

It didn't make sense, but in a way... it was logical. No matter how good one was, one could always get better. But there was one obvious contradiction that ate at Pipsqueak.

"But if I have to fail to become perfect, doesn't that make me imperfect already?"

Luna smiled her knowing smile with a bit of a sly saunter. "As it is, Squeak. It is impossible. I am not perfect, and neither is Celestia." As Pipsqueak's face contorted with astonishment at the blasphemous comment, Luna nervously added, "Don't tell anyone I said that."

Pipsqueak realized how troubling his face must've been and quickly corrected it. "Of course."

"Good." The adrenaline of the last moments of their conversation faded. Luna held firm now. Time to drop the bomb. "Now, Squeak... I want you to disregard all other orders except for mine."

Pipsqueak took a step back, nearly being blown back on his haunches. "Wh-What?"

"You're above anyone else now. You have my pardon. You will go to any lengths to detain or kill this pirate, any extreme. Collateral damage, while not encouraged, will be ignored. I trust you Squeak, this task is of the up most importance. These pirates and their plunders are important to my sister. You are second only to royalty in terms of freedom. Use it wisely."

Pipsqueak began to get really dizzy, and he could barely even stand anymore. His knees were wobbly and his breath was short. What the hell?! Does Luna even have the authority to be making these decisions? I thought Celestia could only do stuff like this. This feels like mutiny, or, or, rebellion!

But it was Luna. As quickly as Pipsqueak began to argue with himself, he stopped and quieted his thoughts. It was Luna. She makes the right decision. Pipsqueak flattened his posture with anew determination and gave a tight salute. "Yes. Yes Luna, I understand."

Luna, her posture now mimicking the captain's, nodded fiercely. "You will tell no one of this. If you get into any trouble with the law, notify me. I can help." A could breeze flew through the room and Luna's face darkened. "This is the only way we can help Celestia, Squeak. Things need to be in her favor for once... it has to help."

The young captain trailed his eyes off center, his focus fuzzing. It was always about her, Celestia. Luna could never smile when her sister was on her mind. If it wasn't business, it was concern. If it wasn't concern, it was frustration. As much of an enigma Princess Luna "the servant of the night" was, her sister hid under a much thicker veil. It was excellent for teaching a lesson or helping in her little gambits, but it also kept out anyone from ever reading her, or even being able to help. Half the time not even Luna knew of Celestia's emotional status, a warrant for even more concern. Pipsqueak hated Celestia for that.

Pipsqueak snapped out of his little daydream enough to realize he was staring at Luna's more... royal parts, and with his mouth wide open. His face nearly exploded from the burst of heat and he snapped his jaw shut as he looked directly up barely fast enough to escape Luna's wandering gaze.

"Good... now, Captain Squeak, have you checked on that man I informed you of?"

The young captain forgot his previous endeavor and faced the princess with dignity. "No ma'am, I was planning to look for him after our meeting."

"Quite alright, I can arrange a meeting with him for you. He is a... hard stallion to get a hold of."

Oh great. Another reason for Pipsqueak to be suspicious. He had no reason to complain though, he was forgived and even aided by the princess of the night. He'd take a bullet for her. "Thank you, Princess."

"I will send you the information through Vynn. Stay safe, Captain."

Pipsqueak nodded, but Vynn looked a little uneasy.

"As you."

The captain of the newly appointed Riptide trotted briskly through the castle halls, trying to remain calm and not look like a child running to a candy store. The image of a large and intimidating falcon on his back was helping him maintain some image, but he barely held out enough to just not get strange looks. Simply, he was excited.

So worried about how he appeared, he wasn't paying attention and bumbed into a large mare. Before he could reply, she exploded.

"Watch where you're going, Private!" She bellowed, disorienting the already shaken stallion.

"Uhh, uh, sorry, I'm... It's Capta-"

"Who the fuck do you think I am? You could be the king of Bulgaria, I could give less of a shit."

Pipsqueak wasn't sure how to react. Rubbing the point of impact, he looked up at the mare. She was wearing a rather nice blue, long-sleaved coat and had some really beautiful- if not pretty disheveled- hair on her mane. It was a mix of various candy colored tones that complemented her regal appearance and pink fur. She had lines under her eyes signifying a need for some sleep along with some crow's feet aside her head. Despite this, she looked very young, as the only reason for the mess was because of stress and her state of being. That's when Pipsqueak spotted something obvious: the mare had both wings and a horn.

"Princess Cadence!" Pipsqueak exclaimed in disbelief. She recoiled back with a look of shock and disgust after her name. Nevertheless, she remained coy.

"Yes, that is my name, thanks for reminding me."

Pipsqueak knew of Cadence's story, of her husband leaving her with no real explanation, and her sister commitng suicide, but he knew not of the details. In fact, he believed that she was still married, Shining Armor not bothering to get a divorce, or if he even wanted one. That beside, Cadence was one of the rare times a person with an attitude had a justified excuse to act like such a douche. "I... I humbly apologize Princess, I should look where I'm going."

"It'll be hard to do that with your nose in my ass." The sheer speed Cadence came out with her retorts was enough to drive any man into the ground with shame. But, Pipsqueak noticed something odd with her last comment that seemed to be apparent in all of them. A sort of softness that cushioned the blow of her insults. It was subtle, but there. Like she didn't mean to do harm with her replies. He wondered if anyone else noticed it.

"Yes ma'am, sorry ma'am." Pipsqueak quickly apologized, furthering Candence's already probably poor opinion of the Captain. She shook her head.

"As you were," she sighed with contempt. "Before you get lost in there, kiss ass." Cadence shuffled off, hopefully to sleep, and left Pipsqueak alone in the hall. After her brilliance was out of sight, Pipsqueak frowned and faced his pet.

"Poor woman," he said aside, patting Vynn's head.

Suddenly, as if scripted, Vynn's eyes glowed a deep blue that was a shade away from black, and his expression blanked. He seemed to stare past the captain as a black aura emanated from him and a ghostly sigh was heard. The smoke coming from Vynn's entire being conjoined at a single point in the air as it seemed to implode and bring a scroll into sight. It was from Luna. While he held that scroll in higher regards than most people he knew, he knew it wasn't of emergence, so he let it plop to the ground. His real concern lie in his pet.

Vynn looked uneasy and dazed, as he usually did after receiving a message from the princess. "Hey," Pipsqueak said softly. "You alright? Did it hurt?"

Vynn gave a small squawk and backed up, an obvious 'no'. "Then what's the matter? Nauseous?" Vynn looked even more uneasy, but squawked another 'no'. Pipsqueak sighed. "If only you could talk... you could tell me what you feel whenever the princess does this." Pipsqueak paused for a moment, unsure how to word the next question sensitively. "You know you don't have to do this? If you don't like it we can stop."

Vynn frantically squawked twice in protest and pecked his cheeks gently, reassuring him that it caused no discomfort for the falcon. He obviously did not want to be the reason the captain loses direct contact with the mare he had become so close to. Pipsqueak remained skeptical, but accepted Vynn's desires. "Okay, okay, fine. We'll keep doing it." He petted the falcon once again before bending over and grabbing the parchment with remnants of darkness still on it. He opened it and began to read.

This is weird. God, this is so weird.

Pipsqueak sat on one side of the small table with his head buried in a menu that really held none of his interest as he had been for the last hour and a half. He was on his fifth glass of water and remarkably didn't have to pee yet. It was all he really had going for him at the moment.

The same waiter with the mane style that had came and went forty years ago walked up to him once again, wearing an impatient and slightly frustrated look that was admittedly understandable. "Sir, what would you like today?" She asked, he voice dripping with sarcasm.

"Uhh... I'm still waiting... for someone." Pipsqueak could've played the sarcasm game right back, but he was simply too emabarassed to be cocky. Hell, the thought that the man he was waiting for might still show and everyone would laugh and point at the homosexuals in the corner after he'd been waiting for so long? That killed him on the inside. Of course the better part of reason told him that Ponies as a species had let go of such prejudices a couple dozen years ago, but the anxiety he was suffering coaxed him into believing anything. And even reason suffered under the fact that some of the more conservative ponies having trouble accepting griffin immigrants as of late, especially without Celestia's progressive propaganda that disappeared a couple years ago.

The waiter gave Pipsqueak a disappointed look as she went off to another table. It wasn't like she could kick him out; he was Legion. He gave a heavy sigh and smacked his face on the table. Of all the crimes that Pipsqueak thought he might be forced to do one day, loitering was not one of them. But in the middle of his thoughts a strange voice came across the table.

"So, the spiced salad looks good dun it? I dun know what d'you think?" The accent was very foreign and unusual, and the tone sharp and confident. Pipsqueak's head shot up with the force of a carriage crash. Sat before him was the last kind of person he expected. Because of the pony's mysterious ways Pipsqueak had expected an equally mysterious image. A dark pony perhaps, with a trench coat and a fedora that covered his eyes. A gruff voice, final but ominous, and word choice to match.

But this man? A small, harmless looking unicorn with fiery red and yellow mane and dark orange fur. The smile he wore was inviting, pleasant, and it was so wide he thought his face was going to explode. He was particularly young looking, almost like a colt. He was dirty, and the only thing that kept his mane out of his face was a red headband tied to the base of his hair. It looked uncared for for years. Despite probably really needing a shower, he had a nice smell on him, almost grainy and natural, like a forest. He was also very handsome, to the point where Pipsqueak almost questioned why he wasn't attracted to him before remembering his orientation. Altogether, he was very non-threatening, and just looked like a kind and impoverished little kid, like Charlie from the dumb chocolate factory book.

Pipsqueak questioned the legitimacy of this meeting. Could some pony really have snuffed out Pipsqueak's behavior and wanted a free meal? It seemed unreasonable, yes, but to Pipsqueak this man wasn't what he thought the Princess would put faith in. "Who are you? What are you doing?"

The man looked puzzled for a moment and blushed. "O-oh... I'm Drake, I... you aren't Pipsqueak? Oh man, I messed this up. Here I am trying to be all clever and charming and I end up going to the wrong table." Drake began to rub his dirty mane with a deepening blush.

There was a few outstanding things Pipsqueak noticed about the man. He was definitely foreign; Assian, just like on the dossier. His accent gave it away entirely, as it was pretty rare for donkeys from Assian to migrate to Equestria. His eyes were also narrower which was a trait common amongst natives there. Granted, Pipsqueak has never met a unicorn Assian before, but it seemed like features were shared. Speaking of eyes, Drake's were a brilliant yellow color that reflected light, changing to and from orange depending on the brightness of the light around them and objects close to him.

Pipsqueak replied quickly to not appear rude. "Oh no, you were correct, I was just double checking. You aren't exactly what I was..."

"Expecting? Yeah I get that a lot." Drake returned to his comfortable looking state and gave another heartwarming smile. "Especially from my parents, heh!" he joked, his body jerking on delivery.

Pipsqueak would have laughed, were it he was not so... intrigued. This man was strange and witty. He appeared to get anxious quickly but maintain a sort of cool in most situations. Pipsqueak had only known him for about half a minute but he could already tell Drake was unlike anyone he had ever met. He was unpredictable thus far, and Pipsqueak didn't think that was going to change anytime soon.

"...Drake. Uh... Blaze, is it?"

Pipsqueak expected some sort of witty comment from the stallion, but all he gave was a confirmatory "Mmhmm!"

"Blaze... I hope it's okay I call you by last name, military and all," Pipsqueak asked, waiting for a nod. Drake gave a reluctant one after frowning a little. "Why did you want to join the military all of the a sudden? Your record doesn't quite reflect that of a Navy man."

"Right..." Drake started, looking for words. "Well I'd like to describe myself as a bit of a... con-i-sewer, is the word? A man of many tastes. An odd ball maybe. And, I think I've dun everything possible a man can do without settling down and building a career. I've been a tailor, a baker, a candlestick maker- I've dun it all. All but... join a military."

Pipsqueak couldn't believe what he was hearing. "You want to join my ranks... out of curiosity?"

Drake obviously didn't catch Pipsqueak's cue of disapproval as he went on. "Yes!" He shot out his hoof, causing Pipsqueak to flinch uncomfortably. “Think about it; all of that experience, all of that knowledge! You’d be able to accomplish anything at a moments notice. And in a military, I’d learn the discipline and strategy to achieve anything in a combat setting!” Drake obviously noticed how riled up he was getting and how it looked to some glancing individuals, so he flushed and sank back to his chair. “Stuff like that.”

Pipsqueak stared, jaw agape. Seriously? Just, seriously? It doesn’t matter how useful he might be, he’s ignorant and cocky as all hell!

Apparently, the orange pony had zero social cue skills, because he still didn’t notice Pipsqueak’s look of utter disbelief. He went on, leaning forward a bit. “But if I am to join you, there is a few conditions I want to go over.”

The captain coughed, his eyes widening. “C-conditions?” He immediately regretted asking.

“Yes. For one, I dun want to associate with you or the Legion, so I want to be undocumented, as well I dun want to have a rank. I’m just a guest. Two, I need to be allowed to leave at any moment. I dun want to start a war just cause I disliked how things were moving.”

Pipsqueak’s look of flabbergast evolved to one of rage, his face boiling and his teeth gritting.

“Also, you may want to know that I smoke. A lot. So if you have any of those guys that get all anal about second-hoof, you may need to boot them.”

That was the straw that paralyzed the camel for the rest of his life. “Who the hell do you think you are?!” Drake, to Pipsqueak’s surprise, was taken aback by the captain’s outburst. “You’re like an hour late, put your hooves on the table, and make all these outrageous demands!” Pipsqueak slammed the table, spilling his glass of water and attracting even more attention from nearby dinner goers. Noticing the murmmers from the surrounding ponies, Pipsqueak cleared his throat and attempted to lower his blood pressure, something that failed miserably. He raised a hoof to his temples and rubbed. Hard.

"Look, you got some special attention from the princess because you're unique; I get that. But that doesn't mean you can strut around like you own the place." He tried to stay raitonal, to stay cool, and he emitted a really drawn out sigh. "Your... drawbacks can and will outweigh your possible advanteges."

Drake look confused, which the captain thought of as an impossible omen. Drake opened his mouth and pipsqueak prepared for the worse. "Was I being rude?" he asked, cocking his head innocently. Pipsqueak didn't know if it was sarcasm or snideness, but he didn't care. His head slammed against the table like it had minutes ago, and he gestured toward the door.

"Just, go. Just get the hell out of here."

Drake gasped an annoyingly shocked gasp. he sounded pretty disappointed, which almost made Pipsqueak feel bad.


"But what? What did I do wr-"

"Just. Go." His voice true and final, Drake sighed in defeat. He was about to stand when a sudden explosion was heard. Pipsqueak head immediately shot back up, while Drake's expression hardened and he craned his neck. They came to realize it was not an explosion, but a gunshot, the unexpected nature of such a sound amplifying its impact. Some ponies screamed while some grabbed children and loved ones and shoved them under the table. Very few ponies tried to run, but they were stopped by the gunman, who now held an unspent flintlock pistol.

"Oi! Stop roit there!" It was a griffin, and he held the gun with his talons as they all do. He had a friend with him, that one holding a very nasty looking sword, one which Pipsqueak had never seen before. "Me an' my frien' are sick an' tired of this tripe!"

His friend, bringing a less stereotypical accent to the table, chimed in. "You all ponies are the fucking same! Treatin' us like were not decent enough to even eat like a civilized person."

"What the hell is going on?" whispered Pipsqueak, turning to Drake for direction.

"Hmm? You mean you dun know?" Drake asked with legitimate astonishment that infuriated Pipsqueak even more. "Oh, I guessed you missed it. Those birds got into an argument about discrimintaion against them in this place. I have no idea if its true, but attacking the ponies kinda seems... counter...intuitive, doesn't it?" Despite the fact Drake struggled with larger words, he sounded intelligent nonetheless. It was irritating for the captain, but that was the least of his concerns at the moment. It was also bothering he called the griffins 'birds', the term not exactly offensive but a little disrespective, in Pipsqueak's opinion.

Pipsqueak was glad he told Vynn to go home, he didn't want him to be in any danger.

"So, to pound the point home, you lot are gonna give up your dosh; and no complainin', lest ya take a musketball to the nob!"

Pipsqueak was so glad he lost most of his accent and slang now. It was so out of placenin Equestria. After he was done being glad about things, he prepared to get into a fight. He had his sword with him (Well, he always did), so that was the first thing he readied. He leaned into a postion where he could draw it at a moments notice. Of course the primary target would be the griffin with the firearm. Those pistols were unpredictable as they were unreliable; a shot could miss completely or drop you instantly, it was a matter of luck. Pipsqueak would much rather take his chances with the sword last, as that was driven more by skill. Unfortunately, it seemed the one with the sword started to move first, making rounds with everyone's bits while the pistol wielding griffin kept watch on everyone. This complicated things, since Pipsqueak would have to wait until he was close since he could squeeze off a shot if Pipsqueak just charged at him. Pipsqueak figured he could improvise somehow; he'd obviously have to take care of the sword griffin first, now.

The sword griffin eventually got to a pale violet mare with dark red hair. She was desperately searching for bits in her purse as he walked up to her. "Hey, what the fuck do you think this is, church? Cash, now. It ain't fucking optional." His tone stabbed at the air around her enough for the sword to not be necessary, but he reared it for effect nonetheless.

The mare was breaking, her voice high pitched and with gaps in it, and her body shaking like a foal in the winter. "I-I, I don't think, think I ha... have any money with me," Her voice climed an octave in fear. "I was going to pay with credit! I have... no!" She begun to hyperventalate and shake more profusely. She dropped her purse.

"Fucking liar!" he shouted, without warning. He took the large sword (which Pipsqueak now identified as some sort of really long carving knife) and place it under her chin. "You rich, stingy fucks! I know when you're fucking lying."

A voice that was almost alien came up from a place no one expected. Many probably thought one of their ears stopped working for a second or that the sound came from an echo off a wall, but it indeed came from an intervening individual. "Leave her alone, or I melt the lower half of your body along with that machete."

It occured to Pipsqueak that the voice actually came from a stallion next to him, who sounded oddly familiar. It took a few moments for him to comprehend that it was Drake's voice, leaving Pipsqueak dumbfounded. Drake just sat there with his eyes closed and a smug smile on his face, but with obvious anger swelling inside him. The reason why it jarred Pipsqueak so much was because he was about to interrupt and issue a similar threat as well, and he felt the words stolen from him as he opened his mouth. Granted, his statement would have involved more smartass and less melting, but the intention remained the same. Who did this guy think he was? He was also too distracted to acknowledge that the strange knife sword thing was called a machete.

"What the fuck did you just say? What in god's name did you just fucking say to me?!" The griffin blew a gasket and supposedly forgot about the mare he was just interrogating as he just lowered the machete as if he was just using it to point at a wall.

Obviously bringing his attention from the mare being Drake's intention, he continued to push the griffin's buttons, making Pipsqueak all the more catious to spring into action, even when the orange pony continued to act nonchalant. "Oh, come now, is cursing really necessary. I mean, you heard me, you filthy cow."

"You're going to eat those words!" The shout was coupled by an angry battle cry as the griffin leapt with the machete held over his head. Pipsqueak was sure that he was about to witness a pony get decapitated, but he was just too far to act in time. He reached for his sword, but he knew that he wouldn't get to the other side of the table in time.

But then...

As the griffin neared?

Blaze smiled deviously, and opened his eyes.

The light that suddenly emitted was almost blinding, and the heat radiated over Pipsqueak's entire being. The table and all the objects nearby, including Pipsqueak, were shot in all directions from the force. Anything combustable caught fire, and the crackling sound that accompanied such fire drowned out all other sounds in the establishment.

The griffin, who was the closest thing to the blast, flew to the other side of the eatery and into the table on the far side, smoke trailing his path. Pipsqueak thought a bomb had gone off at first, as he pushed debris off himself and wiped silt from his face, but as he saw Drake the truth became abundantly clear.

There Drake sat, still in his chair, still in the same state as he was before the blast. Only a tall cyclone of fire reaching from the ground to the ceiling surrounded him, revolving around him as if the origin and fuel source. His horn had a hellish, uncontrollable aura that was almost brighter than the fire. The energy was humbling, and he appeared to manipulate it at will. His smile seemed as devious as ever from the power he demonstrated, his hair flowing in the water-like torrent of flames. The fires seemed stern, but just. Fires that seemed to never intend to hurt an innocent being. Fires that were kind, but held steadfast in consequence.

Fires of Redemption.

Everyone marvled at the sight, forgetting the current situation and the danger they were in as they were fascinated beyond belief. Even the griffin that held the pistol lowered it in humble acknowledgement of its brilliance.

Pipsqueak was the first to snap back in reality, his focus changing to the armed assailant. He seemed to be snapping back too, raising his gun at the monstrous flames and scowling.

"Blaze!" Pipsqueak tried to warn, but it was too late. A gunshot rang. The musketball seemed to flow through the air in slow-motion even though in reality it traveled faster than their eyes could see. Everyone expected Drake to fall, for the flames to die.

But they were wrong. The bullet slowed in the air, and became red hot as it entered the tempest. It liquidated, amazingly, and plopped harmlessly on Drake's cheek (even though it was probably incredibly hot, the temperature was apparently not a problem). "Really?" Drake laughed, his first words since the display. "All you've got?"

Almost instantly, the flames choked out, revealing Drake's body to be completely unharmed but the ground and ceiling charred to black. When he stood, the chair turned to ash. He laughed full heartedly, almost gently. "Seriously though, I'll give you two a bit of a chance."

The machete wielding griffin growled and ran towards the orange pony. The one with the bad accent drew a knife since he had spent both of his pistols. The griffin swung his machete overhead to the ground. Drake managed to snake away from the blade, and planted his hindleg on the blunt side of the blade. The griffin didn't think fast enough to let go and count his losses with the weapon. Drake spun around in the air, a trail of fire following the end of his hoof, the actual fire from the kick hitting the griffin in the back of his head instead of his hind leg which only led the flames. The griffin was sent forwards at great speed and face planted onto the floor below.

Pipsqueak understood now. Drake didn't burn people, he used the fire as a blunt weapon somehow. It confused Pipsqueak a little bit; how did something immaterial like fire cause an impact?

It was at that time the other griffin reached Drake. He took a stab at him and Drake backed up, the blade missing his chest. it happed two more times before the griffin changed his grip on the knife in order to do an overhand stab, psycho-style. Drake unexpectedly dashed right into the grffin's face and raised a hoof to catch his arm, narrowly missing the knife's pointed end. A glowing red fire trailing his every move, Drake shot his free foreleg into the grffin's chest, his smile never fading. It seemed a simple hit, but a great blaze of flames spewed from the end of his hood, a great fireball, sending the griffin a few dozen feet straight through the windowed wall of the resturaunt.

The machete griffin (now unarmed) made an animalistic roar and charged the pony again. As the griffin prepared to claw him, Drake swept his hind leg down and tripped him, the grffin then sailed above the crouched pony. Well, halfway at least. In what almost looked like break dancing, Drake spun around and somehow connected his leg with the side of the griffin's torso, messing his flight and sending him in a 45 degree angle to the bar counter. He hit the ledge of the bar and tumbled down. Although he was in clear pain, he got up without a hitch, and planned to take his next charge. Drake was one step ahead. He inhaled deeply and yelled at the top of his lungs. What he said, no one knew, for his voice was drowned out by the wide stream of fire that came from his mouth. His breath was on fire! the roars and cracks of the fire resonated throughout the entire establishment, and the flames sped towards the astonished griffin.

Showing some intelligence, the griffin leapt and vaulted over the bar, taking shelter next to the various alcohols. The heat radiated all around him, reaching every part of his body. He gritted his teeth, preparing any moment to pat off any fires. As the smoke cleared his anger boiled. He grabbed a wine bottle and popped up, prepared to chuck it. As he rose... he saw a resturaunt of average albeit very scared looking ponies, the calm Drake nowhere in sight. Instinctively, he felt someone beside him. He lifted his talon fast enough to catch the hoof of the elusive pony, which... had no fire trailing from it? The griffin fell right into the trap. Drake puffed fire into his face from his mouth causing the griffin to scream and grab his eyes, still while holding the hoof but dropping the bottle. Drake curled and propped the griffin's arm over his shoulder and judo threw him. In the middle of his descent, Drake roundhouse bucked the upside-down, midair griffin. With the extra impact of fire, the griffin flew and landed head first into a case of liquors on the other end of the bar, propelling him through it and destroying the bar.

The one with the bad accent was probably long gone by now, huge gashes where the window glass cut him. And this one was out cold, broken bottles and glass teeming his face along with the first degree burns. ]

"Hey," Drake spoke out of the silence and lull of action. "Someone take care of that asshole, make sure he doesn't bleed out." Pipsqueak arched an eyebrow at hearing Drake's remark, the curse sounding very awkward and unnatural. He was not a man who cursed regularly, apparently.

Several ponies broke out of their reverie long enough to realize how bad of a condition the troublemaker griffin and family restraunt were in. Collateral damage was severe and glass wasn't as harmless as one expects. A pony or two with medical experience trotted towards the griffin half-heartedly, their apathy easily understood by the others. Meanwhile, the unicorn of fire casually walked up to the broken mare that had been shaken down. His face was softer than one would expect from someone who controlled fire and just beat the crap out of two armed griffins, but his voice had been saturated with sympathy and encouragement regardless. "Hello, you are okay?"

The mare looked down at the floor as Drake approached, unsure how to answer or thank him. The fantastic spectecle he created also did little to ease her nerves. After a few awkward (albeit adorable) moments, she nodded slowly. Her blush was deep enough to shine through her violet coat with ease. Drake smiled and kneeled. He put his hoof under her chin and lifted her muzzle gently, making her eyes meet his.

"You are sure? I would hate to have a beautiful mare such as yourself hurt in any way."

Pipsqueak had finally gotten up and dusted himself up, finding parts of his jacket covered covered with soot and char. Shaking his head, he began to walk to Drake and the mare that seemed to be so flustered she was about to pass out. Drake regarded her with respect as he helped her up, every move slow and thoughtful.

Pipsqueak wracked his brain as he approached the orange pony. Pipsqueak was absolutely sure that Drake's misguided personality and reasons for joining outweighed any potential usefulness that he had contained, but now, Pipsqueak wasn't so sure anymore. Not only was Drake extremely powerful, he seemed like a great guy, a fact that had of course went right over Pipsqueak's head. His motivations were ill spoken, but maybe that was the thing. He seemed unsure how to handle Pipsqueak when they met. Maybe this was his first time sharing with anypony what his desires were. It wasn't like Pipsqueak's reason for joining was that wholesome either, he just had the skills to hide his intentions under exaggerated patriotism. That certainly didn't make Pipsqueak a bad guy, and it obviouslly didn't make Drake one either.

As Pipsqueak stood before the hero, he had noticed that the mare had become a lot more comfortable and was giggling as Drake comforted her. It was apparent how much trauma she had suffered, but Drake's smiling face made her forget. Pipsqueak couldn't hold back a smile at the sight. Definately not a bad guy at all.

"Blaze," Pipsqueak said, getting the stallion's attention. His smile faded as he noticed the captain, not out of malice but sadness at his failed negotiation. Pipsqueak put the best indifferent look on his face he could, trying not to give to the pony's selfish demands and reasons. "I think..." Pipsqueak trailed off.

Blaze, now a little shocked to hear such a respectful tone from the Captain, cautiously lifted his ears. "Yes?" he asked.

Pipsqueak bit his lip as he really pushed the next few words out. "I may have been wrong about you. Maybe."

The stupid grin that spread across the face of the firey pony really made Pipsqueak struggle to keep his indifferent facade. He was crossed between screaming 'yes' while holding his hoofs and jumping up and down, or taking one of those shards of glass and shoving it up his-

""Okay, so- whoa what the hell? What tornado hit this place?" A canterlot Day Watch guard stepped in front of the restraunt, his stern expression changing into one of astonishment. He was trailed by a few other Day Watchers that showed much less emotion than the first did. He was their surperior, and they happened to be a little looser because of their status, although that didn't say much. The reason they were required to do so was because of their need to communicate more, while recruits only followed orders.

"WELL, that's my cue." Drake turned towards the mare. "Good evening, Marcy," He said, tipping an imaginary hat. Only then did Pipsqueak realize Drakes headband and burnt off... and that he must've asked that mare her name. "See you later, maybe."

Wait, what?

At first, Pipsqueak thought Drake had disappeared, before his saw his body rounding a corner incredibly fast. Pipqueak felt his eyes roll around his skull before he stopped his head from spinning. Drake was already gone. Pipsqueak had no time to think; he took off to follow. He passed the machate on the floor and stopped his pursuit as he eyed the really sharp and really, really cool looking giant knife thing. He decisively grabbed the machete out of the floor and dashed to the injured grffin, pushing inbetween the aiding medical personnel.

"I'll be taking that," he remarked, unbuckling the sheath around the griffin's back. He stuffed the machete inside and slung it around his own back, running as he buckled it onto himself. "He turned his head to the barely consious and bloody griffin as he ran and yelled, "You can have it back when you can handle sharp objects responsibly!"

"Wait!" he shouted, jumping over the beam that held the glass windowed wall that had previously occupied the space. He heard the nearby Day Watch leader bark some orders and take after the same pony. Pipsqueak could run- he had always prided himself in that. His light build and long legs helped, and nopony would argue that he was in good shape. He rounded a street corner first to barely catch a glimpse of the orange pony. He was heading into a connecting alley, presumably to hide. The Day Watchers didn't round fast enough to see Drake, so Pipsqueak presumed they now only followed him for directions. Not wanting to rat the guy out (he didn't know why) Pipsqueak took an early turn and stopped halfway down an adjacent alley. He kneeled down and panted heavily and tried to appear exhausted. The three Day Watchers passed him without a blink, suspecting Pipsqueak was simply too tired to continue. As soon as they were out of eyeshot, Pipsqueak dropped the act and composed himself. He backtracked to the previous street and headed down the apropriate alley.

The reason behind Drake's flee escaped Pipsqueak. Why? He knew what Drake did counted as vigilantism, considering he destroyed the place in the process. Still... in a court ruling, the jury would be sypathetic, and if he could get that violet mare to testify...

But then, he remembered Drake's apperance. Aside from smelling like pine cones (that was probably a result of the fire, Pipsqueak realized) the man was dirty and disheveled. And he started that fight with complete confidence. He held no jobs, and only did oddball tasks to get money...

He's a hobo! The revalation came suddenly. His eyes physically widened as he trotted down the path. He must be completely homeless! That makes sense. and if he joined us then he'd get free lodging as well. That's his only alterior motive? Hell, that doesn't seem so bad... It explains why he didn't want to be caught. He's always on the road, staying at any one place for too long might be annoying for him, and a court ruling would do that to anypony no matter how virtuous the cause. That also explained all those charges on his record, something that the captain had almost forgotten about. Pipsqueak reached the dead end the alley had led to and turned around. Biting his lip once again, he bluffed, "Oi, Blaze, I know you're here, come out."

It had become fairly hard to not notice that Drake was pretty horible when it came to anything social. He hadn't been able to tell Pipsqueak's bluff despite his demeanor telling his lies rather bluntly. "Hey Captain, thanks for not... ratting me out?" Drake voiced it as a question, unsure if the phrase was correct. Pipsqueak decided to not point it out, silently assuring him that he had said it right.

"After what you did, it's what you deserve, Blaze," Pipsqueak praised, subtly letting his approval known. He remained cautious in tone, however.

Drake frowned, to which Pipsqueak arched a brow. Drake noticed this (somehow despite clearly having no diplomatic and poor social skills) and elaborated. "Do really you have to call me Blaze?"

Pipsqueak chuckled slightly, the stallions antics growing on him surprisingly quickled. "Sorry, I don't like first names." Drake begrudgingly accepted. "Blaze... you can join."

Drake's disappointed face destroyed any trace of displeasure after hearing this news. Pipsqueak spoke before he could chip in, though. "But! I have a few demands for you too."

Drake cocked his head, slightly confused. "For one," he started. "Although I will allow everything you asked, I will not be giving you any special treatment. All your duties will be that of new recruits, despite not having a rank." He waited for a nod from the flame pony. He did so enthusiastically. "Also, you will be allowed to leave at any moment, but in doing so, I am allowed to boot you instantly, no questions asked." Drake contemplated this for a moment before deciding it was just as fair. "Finally..."

Pipsqueak's tone was onimous, and Drake broke a sweat, leaning in closely. "Open a damned window if you smoke below deck." Pipsqueak finished, smiling light heartedly. Drake, at first completely befuddled, shared his smile after the joke. Pipsqueak spit in his hoof and stretched it out. "Deal?"

Uneasily, Drake stuck out his hoof as well, refusing to spit. They bumped awkwardly. Drake wiped his hoof on a nearby wall while laughing nervously.

Geez, the guy envelops himself in fire, you'd think he'd be less timid, Pipsqueak mused.

"Good, good!" Drake shouted in joy, clapping his hooves together like a seal. "This'll be fun."

Pipsqueak looked at Drake like one would an adorable but stupid child. He could be such a suave sometimes, it was hard to believe he was such a dork other times. It's like he missed out on a few lessons on life. "Alright then, let me show you to my ship."

"Sure, lemme just get my bag!" Drake replied.

"Well be... quick about it?" Pipsqueak didn't even have time to rush Drake, as he just reached behind a trashcan for a slightly beat up, but very durable looking saddlebag. It was slightly larger than most and had a very dark green hue to it. Pipqueak arched another brow, this time wondering if he should ask him if he slept behind that trashcan before. Nah, He doesn't need to be bothered. "Oh yeah! One more thing," Pipsqueak remarked, facing Drake. He looked apprhensive.


"I don't actually have ranks on my ship. Just me, the Captain, my first mate Scoots, and the crew. So yeah, FYI."

Drake tripped and fell on his face.

"Sire, you caught the stallion red handed! You are the one that supplied the evidence, accused him, and even prosecuted him! WHY ARE YOU TESTIFYING FOR HIM?!"

The defendant's lawyer's pleas fell on deaf ears. A certain creature sat behind the pedestal with his legs kicked up on the top and his back leaning against the chair, much to the chargin of an exasperated judge. The defendant was crying hysterically at the prolonged lengthening of the trial, most likely working out how these shenannigans were going to lengthen his charges. Even the victim's family looked sorry for him.

It started as a simple littering case, but with the meddling of a certain man it had escalated to a money laundering, scamming, false advertisment, and somehow urinating in public. The trickster had a field day with that one. He had never seen a forensics team that annoyed.

Discord, the one and only, leaned across the the stand dramatically, donning a ridiculous suit and tie, wireframe glasses, and top hat. He looked like a lawyer that defended Willy Wonka on a regular basis. His hair was also politely slicked to the side, which no one voice but silently agreed was hilarious. "You don't know what this man is capable of! So much heroics!! So much bravery!!! Why, the other day I saw him giving candy to a young foal in the park! Anyone with good in their hearts can see the selflessness in those acts! Sure, he was wearing a trench coat and sunglasses, but regardless." Yup, six for six

Everyone eyed the accused suspiciously, either with disgust or indignation. The stallion just sobbed harder. Discord floated out of the stand and with a snap of his fingers, rid himself of his costume, returning to his normal draconequus state. "Well, my job's done here. Judge, if you don't mind, pass the torch." Discord floated up to the Judge's seat, drematically gripping the pedatal with his talons and holding the back of his paw against his forehead. "Carry on my legacy!" Discord cackled and flew even higher, this time inching towards the exit. "Au revoir, my little ponies!" Discord rocketed towards the large double doors leading outside. He abruptly stopped, wind or time seemingly having no effect on him. He stiffly turned his neck and shouted. "Also, search his basement. I hope one of you can pick strongbox locks!"

After hearing another pained sob from the defendant, Discord chuckled and fled. He touched down after a couple of streets and started to walk, bipedal style. His smile sly and his hands free, he shaped his hand and talons into guns, pointing at random ponies and griffins as he passed and winking. Most felt uneased at his attention and shyed away, while some smiled back at him and winked as well. No one ran like they had ten years ago, and Discord was unsure if he enjoyed that or not. He caused chaos just at his presense; everyone screamed and flipped out at the sight of him. But recently in the past couple of years, Discord had began to love the challenge. And there was something so attractive about that subtle chaos he could inflict, harmless little pranks and huge disturbances for the deserving. It was... nice, not what he had initially expected. Plus, the ones that smiled... they had reminded him of his first friend. Fluttershy.

Well maybe not FIRST, but...

Yes. He did mean first. He wasn't Discord before. He was Discord now, and Fluttershy was the only one who accepted that. And she was gone... Still...

Discord's thoughts were interrupted as he violently wretched into his talon. Ponies around him jumped, startled. A few began walking again shortly after, suspecting a joke. That was weird, Discord thought. Did I just... cough? Discord barely finished the thought before he coughed again, causing him to bend slightly. There was a hellish tickle in his throat and a burning in his lungs. He tried to compose himself again, but there was another cough. And another. And another. Soon, he was choking and sputtering as he coughed more and more into his talon. More ponies left, the same thought entering their head that this was all some sort of prank. Discord couldn't warn them that it wasn't, he was too busy vomiting the air in his lungs. Two ponies and a griffin were the only ones who kept watch, concern drawing on ther face. Although they were skeptical, they believed the god of chaos was really coming down with something.

Discord keeled over, loosing his balance. He couldn't think any more, only cough. And cough. And cough. Until finally something came up. Discord was relived at the escape of phlegm, at first. Until he looked at his talons.

"Hey, bud, you alright?" the griffin spoke up, trying to be casual.

Discord stared at his talon, dread overcoming him. He was shaking.

His talon was covered in blood. He had coughed up blood. "I coughed... up blood."

The griffin's eyes went wide. "Oh geezus. Shit, man, you should go to the doctor's."

Discord shook his head. Never before has anyone seen him this serious. "No, you don't get it. I'm a god. I'm immortal. Immortals don't get ill; they don't up chuck blood, they don't cough."

The griffin was nervous now. The foreboding way Discord calmly explained his situation was unnerving at best. "So... this is... bad?"

Discord nodded. "This is very, very bad."

"Sir, you want to what?!"

"I told you. I will be accompanying you for the time being. I am supersceeding control of your ship."

"General... you can't just... leave your post! You're commander in chief! We take all your orders from you."

"I am well aware of my job, Captain. And you will heed my orders." Divinrock slowly walked forwards with intent to pass the young stallion, but he stopped until he was side by side with the man. The captain closed his eyes as beads of apprehensive sweat rolled down his face. Divinrock smiled that cruel, cruel smile that had graced his face everytime he caused someone discomfort. He closed his eyes and bit the Captain's ear gently with his toungue squeezing out the gaps. The man shuttered with disgust as Divinrock trailed his right hoof down the captain's flanks. He whispered in his ear, taking care to put more effort in breathing his words. "And you know what happens when you don't," he finally threatened, a small chuckle escaping his lungs. The man, truly terrified, nodded subordingly. "Good."

General Divinrock turned the doorknob to the office and walked through, taking in the fresh morning air. He sighed dreamingly. "I'm coming, Patch. Ready or not~"

Author's Note:

I know it's been 3 months guys, I'm sorry. Sooo, here the longest chapter yet to make up for it! Yep, we finally get a Pipsqueak focus along with a new character that was foreshadowed earlier! Drake was inspired by a good friend of mine, Nick, so you can thank him if you like the firey pony. Also we have an introduction of Discord, who is surprisingly not evil and General Divinrock who is so far a predatory homosexual creep! Disclaimer, there's nothing wrong with being gay, but preying on the unwilling is disgusting no matter what the orientation or gender. Also, the view count is two for some reason, before I even published :P

P.S. tell me what you think of Pipsqueak's side's characters (him, Luna, Drake, etc.)