• Published 7th Mar 2012
  • 1,926 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.

  • ...

Shoot the Messenger

“We must not let our accomplishments be thwarted by our failures, if we did, we would fail as a species.”

Chapter 3

“Hehe, oops,” Pinkie giggled sheepishly while rubbing the back of her mane. Fluttershy rolled her eyes but kept the smirk on her face. She missed Pinkie. She really did. “How long have I been out?” Pinkie asked sullenly.

“About two days; you’re lucky you didn’t slip into a coma or something.”

The zebra in the room approached the yellow pegasus with anxiety in her step. “Fluttershy, not that I don’t enjoy your company, but why have you come to this room of the sick ponies?”

“We’re about to seize a messenger ship. Just one ship, so there should be no worries, however I don’t want a war going on above your head without you knowing about it.”

Zecora nodded and returned to her herbs, unperturbed by the news. Pinkie, however, frowned and looked at the floor distantly. Fluttershy noticed her friend’s change of demeanor, and asked about it accordingly.

“Well, when I agreed to tag along when you told me about you ‘mission’… it doesn’t change the fact your stealing from ponies, Fluttershy,” she explained, rubbing her hooves together fretfully. “You’re a pirate. I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle this; you’re attacking innocent ponies.”

Fluttershy scoffed with a smile stretched on her face, as if what Pinkie said was completely ludicrous. “’Innocent’? Ha, don’t make me laugh.” Pinkie’s eyes widened in shock. Her friend was so different now, and she feared it wasn't for the better. Before Pinkie could start debating with her, Fluttershy went on. “Pinkie Pie, if you’ve seen the things I have, you wouldn’t decide that so easily. The Princesses’ Legion does whatever the fuck they want and no one tries to stop them, either because it’s covered up with lies, or they’re just too scared to.”

“What? What are you talking about? The princesses are really nice!” she yelled in defense. Carefully, she added “They were friends with Twilight…”

“Listen, Pinkie, I am certain the princesses are all they’re cracked up to be,” she said without a hint of sarcasm in her voice. She’d met Celestia before; she had despised evil. “But the problem with a long chain of command like the Legion is that the higher ups can leave some information out of their reports to royalty. The princesses are never gonna know.” Fluttershy’s gaze shifted elsewhere, and her scowl became more intense.

“Cue embezzling, corruption, murders, abuse…” Fluttershy listed then paused for a moment, and looked pained. Her voice was dry, and it cracked slightly. Pinkie couldn’t figure if she was going to blow up in rage, or burst into tears. “…Forest fires.”

Pinkie gasped as her heart skipped a couple of beats. She remembered that letter she got from Dash, the last time she heard from her rainbow-maned friend. Pinks… I can’t find Fluttershy. I went to her cottage and… everything… it was all burned. Burned to the ground, only ashes left. Her animals were… everywhere. Oh Celestia it was horrible. I looked for her, and, after a while, I thought I was going to be looking for a corpse. Thank the heavens I didn’t find any ponies around there. I’m under the impression Fluttershy left… her poor heart wouldn’t have been able to handle that. So now it’s just Applejack and me… but not for long. Don’t worry, 'Jack’s okay… but I’m leaving. Joining the wonderbolts. Yeah, I know, my life dream and all that. Fuck. I’ve been crying all night, and I hate it. I can’t fucking take it anymore. If I stay another day in this shitty little town I think I might crack. I… don’t want to say goodbye to Applejack. I’ve been through too fucking much. I’m sorry for cursing, but I just give up. Pinks… I can’t write to you anymore. I… can’t… I cry every time. Doesn’t help after what happened today. It makes me remember all the good times we used to have. Man, I was such a douche back then. If I see you, I’ll see you, but… I can’t write. Not anymore. I hope this stupid letter isn’t unreadable because of all my tears. Your friend, Dashie.

“You know why I became a pirate?” she finally asked.

Pinkie’s eyes welled up with tears. She was sobbing softly now. “Th-the cottage?”

“No,” she deadpanned. “Because I was arrested for a murder I didn’t commit. The killer ran free, and I was nearly tortured to death. Just because the guy who did commit the crime was in the legion. It was how I met Captain Patch. He’s the only reason I didn’t give up hope in there. I swore loyalty soon after escaping with him. I don’t want anyone to go through what I did.”

“I… I’m sorry…” Pinkie apologized between low volume sobs. Fluttershy gently walked up to her and wrapped her forelegs around Pinkie. She squeezed the sorrow out of her friend.

“Don’t apologize,” she said flatly. “It’s not your fault. Just… don’t leave again.”

“You took you jolly old time, didn’t you?”

“I’m sorry Cap’n,” Fluttershy said somberly. “Something… came up.”

Patch looked at his soldier, and quickly identified her solemn appearance and red eyes. She’s been crying. Crew comes first. “It’s okay, Fu’Shy.”

“…What’s the situation?”

“The messenger ship is slightly larger than most, a hint that it contains something of value,” he informed Fluttershy while still staring at the small ship in the distance. “I don’t know if they have spotted us yet…”

Just then a crack was heard, and a large ball of dangerous lead passed right by Captain Patch’s head at an insane level of velocity. Unperturbed, the brave captain nonchalantly glanced around himself just fast enough to see the cannonball hit the ocean behind him with a lurid splash. “I’ll take that as a ‘yes’.”

Fluttershy, mouth agape, started in disbelief. “A messenger ship with cannons!”

“Alright, looks like we got a fighter here, crew!” barked Patch. “Defensive positions! The ship isn’t that defendable, so it shouldn’t be that hard, but be ready for the worst! Prepare to board!” Another crack and another ball of lead. This one made contact with the ship and shook it with devastating force. Fluttershy hovered a bit off the ground as to not lose her balance, as did a couple other pegasi. The unicorns and earth ponies stumbled a bit, but none fell for their sea legs had seen much worse turbulence.

“Did you hear that cracking noise?” Pinkie Pie inquired to her zebra friend. Zecora put a hoof to her chin in thought.

“It appears we are being shot at, but don’t worry, a messenger ship should be no worse than a gnat,” she assured. Pinkie looked less than convinced.

“But how do you—“ Pinkie was cut off by the entire ship suddenly jerking to the right. She held no hoofing whatsoever and flew to the other side of the ship and hit the wall with an earsplitting BAOMF. Zecora however, just stood where she was, albeit a little shaken from the display of Pinkie Pie. Pinkie’s corpse was sprawled across the wall, and ever so slowly her body peeled off of it, leaving a pony-shaped indentation on the wooden wall of the ship. Zecora found herself giggling slightly at the sight, but she quickly corrected herself and cleared her throat.

“…Can I go a day without ending up face first in something hard and painful?”

Crack, crack cra-crack! The unrelenting force of the cannons was something Patch hadn’t expected. More and more he could hear his precious ship getting more torn apart. After trying to weave between the projectiles he thought best to retaliate with their own guns, but considering the size of the vessel they were firing at, their balls nigh never hit their mark. He had not choice, they would have to rush the ship and board it themselves. “This isn’t working!” he yelled. “C’mon we have to board, or we’ll be torn to pieces!”

Fluttershy, amazingly, was the first to leap onboard. However, instead of landing on the deck of the ship, she hovered to one of the ropes of the masts. She held onto it with one hoof, and held her scimitar in the other (the sword could either be held by the mouth, which was preferred by most ponies, by the wings, or by hoof. The handle is retractable so it can be easily ‘snapped on’ to hooves.) Resolutely, she yelled, “CHAAAARRRRRGE!”

On Fluttershy’s command, (It’s amazing how much charisma one has when one is as cute as Fluttershy) half the crew leapt onto the ship, brandishing their weapons. Patch galloped to the edge of the ship and eyed the staff of the opposing ship. The messenger ship was outnumbered by at least thirty ponies; no way they can handle a full on barrage. Noting this, Patch took out his own scimitar, and jumped off his wonderful ship.

The battle had already started when the Patch touched down on the deck. The clashing of swords and the firing of flintlocks could be heard over the deafening sound of the cheering of the pirates and the screams of the sailors. Patch eyed a sailor running after him, sword drawn. Patch was too experienced, however, and shifted his neck to the left violently, making his sword clash with the assailant’s saber. The young sailor hadn’t expected the sudden contest, and slipped up by backing away. Patch saw his window of opportunity and turned to buck the stallion. He felt his hind hoof make contact with the colt’s nose, instantly sending the young sailor into unconsciousness, and ultimately flooring him.

Patch remembered his number one rule: don’t kill unless absolutely necessary. Especially as he realized how young his opponent was. At most, sixteen. Sick.

Patch turned to view the rest of the crew. There were small duels covering most of the ship, however it seemed that the entire crew of the opposing team was on the deck, something that didn’t happen often with Patch’s ship. Patch had a reserve of about twenty ponies who looked after the ship in its bowels, mainly because they weren’t fighters, or they were more useful working on the ship at all times. The battle shouldn’t last that much longer, the captain thought. We’re looking at minimal losses.

“CHAAAARRRRRGE!” Fluttershy yelled as she let go of the rope and used her wings to dive at the deck in a graceful arc. She managed to steer herself towards an unsuspecting cadet and she was able to bury both of her hooves in him with violent and unrelenting force. He had barely had time to draw his sword. Her first opponent floored, Fluttershy surveyed her surroundings quickly with urgency. She had taken the small group of sailors by surprise, and only a few of the more reflexive ponies were starting to take out their weapons. There were six ponies who were eyeing Fluttershy as their first target, and two ponies had their scimitars out of their sheaths. One behind her and one in front. Those will be her follow up adversaries, she decided. Fluttershy, determined to get the first attack in, took a small hop forward to the sailor in front of her. She snapped her neck to the left, sending the blade in a horizontal trajectory. The sailor gritted his teeth and bent his head to the right. The two swords made contact as sparks flew in the air. Seeing her window of opportunity, Fluttershy followed up her initial strike with a diagonal swipe, from left to right. This time, her enemy wasn’t so lucky, and a deadly crimson gash found itself across the pony’s chest and neck. He doubled back in pain, and Fluttershy took this as means to switch focus, this time spinning around to meet the second pony with his weapon drawn. As she spun, she eyed for ponies around her, but after noting that none of the other four ill-prepared ponies were there, no doubt running at the sight of the decently skilled yellow pegasus, she finally faced her final opponent.

Her eyes met the gaze of her enemy only for a split second, before she felt an extreme weight tugging at her jaw. She had turned to face her opponent, only to have his sword make contact with hers. She hadn’t even tried to block it; she was just lucky that her sword was already in a good enough position. Before her opponent could carry through with another attack, she slammed her hoof into his knee. This made him grunt in pain, and consequently drop his weapon. Noticing the opening, Fluttershy instinctively reached for her pocketed flintlock pistol, and squeezed the trigger as fast as she could with her wing. She was careful not to let the musket hit any obvious vitals, an effort that bore fruit. A small scarlet wave sprayed out of the pony’s knee, causing him to topple over in pain. Smiling, Fluttershy got the chance to rest for a small time, before taking in the scene of the battle. More than half of the ship’s forces were already defeated, and the heat of the battle was slowly dying down. Easy. Now where’s the Captain?

“Cannons? Seriously?” Captain Patch said while raising his hooves incredulously at the opposing captain. The gruff old pony simply frowned harder and turned from the pirate’s gaze. “Tell me, sir, since when does a mailmare walk around with a fucking blunderbuss?” asked Patch in anger.

Most of the crew of the courier ship had been hog-tied, subdued, or otherwise put out of commission. Patch and Fluttershy were pleased to hear that there were no casualties on either side, a thing which didn’t happen often. Fluttershy stepped forward with a flat gaze on her face.

“So where’s the loot?” she asked, almost innocently.

“Loot? There is no loot,” the captain answered.

“Don’t get smart with me,” Patch ordered harshly. “You wouldn’t have been this heavily defended if you didn’t have something of value.” Patch looked positively pissed. “It isn’t every day a mailman nearly tears my ship apart.”

“Ha! Even if we did have loot, why would I tell you where it is?”

Fluttershy stepped forward, closer to the tied up captain. She wore a twisted smile of sadistic pleasure across her face. Slowly she lowered her neck to the captain until their muzzles were mere inches away…

…and then she started to tear up. The refraction from the water made her eyes appear to move, and her pupils nearly took up her entire eye. Her lower lip poofed up, giving a ruse of sadness. Her eyebrows curled up into the most sorrow filled shape she could muster. It was a sight that would have made Hitler cry. On the verge of sobbing, her voice quivered softly as she said, “Because if you don’t tell me, you’ll make me cry.” The captain tried to back up to get the sad pony away from his vision, but his head hit the wall behind him. No matter how hard he tried he couldn’t get the yellow pegasus out of his eyes.

“You… you wouldn’t want to make me cry…” Fluttershy said, on the very edge of hysterically sobbing. “…Would you?”

The captain couldn’t take it anymore. His spirit shattering, the captain yelled out a raspy “There’s a key in the bottom drawer of my desk that unlocks a chest hidden in the cellar! Just make it stop, oh Celestia, just make it stop!” The captain broke into small fits of intense weeping as he fell forwards face first.

Fluttershy instantly returned to usual demeanor upon getting the new information. She wiped away her feign tears and began rummaging through the former captain’s desk.

Patch chortled uncontrollably in response to the whole fiasco. “Fluttershy…” he said between breaths. “That was amazing.”

“I try,” Fluttershy said, flattered, as she held up the newly discovered key. “C’mon, let’s find this chest and get the hell outta here.”

“Fuck, this thing is heavy,” Vex groaned as she dropped the large ruby-encrusted box onto the deck of their ship. After lugging the damned thing up a flight of stairs, Patch and Fluttershy had called their griffin friend to lend a hand. She complied after complaining for like, five minutes.

“I hope we don’t open this thing and there’s like, a fucking corn flake inside or something,” Vex expressed her disdain.

“Well, a ruby encrusted chest with matching key suggests otherwise,” Captain Patch retorted as he began tapping the top of the expensive container. After eyeing it for a little while to build dramatic tension, he slowly began advancing the key towards the lock. It slowly went deep into the lock, and made a barely audible clockwork noise as the tumblers slid into place. Sweat began to drip from Captain Patch’s eyebrow as he—

“JUST TURN THE FUCKING KEY ALREADY,” Vex shouted as she threw her talons in the air. Patch shot a look of minor impatience as he rotated the key quicker. The chest popped open a smidge, causing the captain to flinch a little. He just stared at it a little while before facing Fluttershy with a snide smile.

“Would you like to do the honors Fu’Shy?” he asked politely. She nodded positively and flew towards the idle box. With dramatic force she shoved the lid open, revealing its contents. Fluttershy was the first to see its contents, being the one who opened it. What she saw made her shriek slightly in horror, and jump back a few feet. Patch noted this as odd behavior, as the yellow pegasus didn’t scare that easily. He slowly approached the box to see…

“Holy shit!” he shouted in revulsion at the sight before him. Inside the chest lie a decapitated head of a pony with a rolled up piece of paper in its mouth. His expression bore shock, as if he didn’t expect the thing that chopped his head off to actually kill him. It was truly a disturbing sight.

“Now, that’s just fucked up right there,” Vex spat as she reeled back in disgust.

“Vex… why don’t you do the honors of getting that thing in its mouth?” Fluttershy suggested with feign innocence and a sheepish smile.

Vex started. “Excuse me, Miss I-Have-No-Talons…” Vex stopped herself before looking down at her opposable thumbs. “Oh yeah… Fuck.” Vex slowly trudged towards the lavish box before turning her head away and reaching in. “Gah, fuck me, fuck me, fuck me,” she mumbled as she felt for the paper. She grabbed it and ripped it out of the disembodied head’s mouth. When she got it out she instantaneously threw it in the general direction of Fluttershy and started flailing her right talon around frantically as if she caught a disease. Patch chuckled to himself. Doesn’t matter how tough she is; she’s still a girl.

“Hell if I’m picking that up with my mouth,” Fluttershy said in skeptic laughter. “Can we get a unicorn over here?”

Nearly instantaneously a young sailor wearing a blue police cap zoomed up towards the three pirates. His build was tall and slender, a build Fluttershy remembered the Flim-Flam brothers had all those years ago in Ponyville. His fur was a dark indigo blue and his mane was a faded black, a grey-like shade. “Private Gavin reporting for duty!” he saluted. He was a unicorn.

“Gav, you don’t have to be so formal, you’re not in the core anymore,” Patch assured.

“Sorry, Sir. Old habits die hard,” he stated while rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. His cutie mark was that of a soldier’s helmet. It was his talent to be at the front lines, but he didn’t agree with the ways of the Equestrian military. After two years, he left with an amusing dishonorable discharge, and joined Patch’s Pirates shortly after. I wear that dishonorable discharge label with pride, he used to say. You rejoice when douchebags don’t respect you. Everyone thought that ‘Private’ was his title, but it was actually his first name, and Gavin was his last name.

“Would you kindly?” Patch politely asked. He did sneak in a bit of hidden urgency though.

“Certainly, Sir.” A glowing green aura surrounded Gavin’s horn and the parchment simultaneously, and as quickly as the glow appeared, it flickered and died. Gavin stopped concentrating and raised a brow at this. Everypony (and griffin) watching in anticipation turned to the young pirate quizzically. He smiled nervously.

“Well this is a little embar—“ Right then a flash of blinding light exploded from the parchment, and sent Private Gavin hurdling through the air to the other side of the deck. Everypony behind him managed to get out of the way until he finally crashed into the door to the living quarters with devastating force. So devastating, in fact, that it probably broke a rib or two and completely obliterated the door. After a couple of seconds, a quivering voice came from the other side. “I-I’m o-kay…”

Patch sighed annoyingly. “Fu’Shy, can you get Zecora and Med to help Gav?”

Fluttershy gave her own sigh. “Aye aye, Cap’n.”

Patch looked towards the small paper again, before putting a hoof to his chin. “Hmm, Gavin is a klutz, but he certainly wouldn’t be able to blow himself up like that with just magic.”

Vex walked up to the Captain, legitimately curious. “Do you think the paper had anything to do with it?”

“Most likely,” Patch confirmed. “But I haven’t come across anything like this before… most unusual.”

“What was your first clue that it was unusual, the thousand chort box or the disembodied head?”

“Chorts? We use bits in Equestria, Vex.”

“Oh, yeah. Fuck you.”

“Who the fuck are you?” Vex sneered at the sickingly bright pink pony who just waddled in the room.

“I’m Pinkie Pie, your new roomie,” Pinkie cheered, unaware of the griffin’s hostility.

“Pinkie Pie? I remember thinking that your name was ridiculous when ‘Shy told me your name, but I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember why.” Vex retorted. “Until now.”

Vex stole a glance at the pony again and saw that she had a sad frown on her face. Vex sighed on the inside. She decided to soften the blow; Pinkie wasn’t a real pirate anyway. “From now on I’ll call you Pinks, which sounds slightly less diabetic.”

Pinkie beamed at this, which made Vex feel inexplicably lighter inside. “Don’t worry, a lot of people call me Pinks! Parsley used to, Fluttershy sometimes does, and Dash said it sounded better!”

Vex shot up at the name Dash. She snapped her head left to the pink pony wearing that huge grin on her face. Dash?! Surely she can’t mean… no. That’s ridiculous. She couldn’t be talking about the same Dash.

She was dead, after all.