• Published 18th May 2014
  • 1,335 Views, 29 Comments

Apples, Tanks, N' Badflanks - ultra1437



Celestia and Luna go on an unexpected adventure after a drinking contest gone awry. Let’s follow them, and see what kind of trouble and adventure our drunken princesses can manage to find!

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2 - Familial Reconciliation, or as Close to It as You Can Get, Stranded on Another Planet

Celestia's eyes shot open as she sniffed twice. “I smell coffee.” The cart she'd slept on had long since cooled, and the grate she laid down on had imprinted its pattern on her coat. She glanced up and heard a small rumbling in the building, but it didn’t give her a headache like the one last night. ‘Last night! I don't remember raising the sun this morning!’ Quick as she could, she reached out with her magic and found the sun already in the sky, just not in quite the correct position. ‘I’ll correct it later, Luna must’ve raised it for me…’ Celestia’s breathing slowed as her muscles relaxed. ‘I’ll have to thank her.

She sniffed again as the coffee’s smell reached her nose. Celestia then started following the smell, up and over the cart’s top, sniffing along it like a dog. As she reached the very front, she hopped down, and continued to sniff along the building’s floor, her nose only a scant inch from touching. The rumbling sound only got a little louder as coffee lead her to another open stall. One of the holes on top of the cart was open, but nopony else was around. She climbed atop the box and the smell only grew stronger, wafting from the open hole. She slipped her head inside, to find Luna sitting with a mug of coffee sitting next to her, filling another.

“Good morning, sister. The coffee smells great!” Celestia whispered, startling Luna. “Getting me a mug, I hope?” she asked, climbing in and settling down next to Luna.

“Yes, sister.” Luna nearly dropped both the carafe and the mug she was pouring at the sudden intrusion of her sister’s voice. Rolling her eyes, she continued, “Something woke me a few minutes ago by starting this cart, and the coffeemaker inside. I know it was rude, but I know how you love your coffee in the mornings, so I figured I would make it. I hope whoever started this does not mind me doing so.” She finished pouring the mug, and put the carafe back in the coffeemaker to keep it warm.

“I do too, sister. By the way, thank you for raising the sun this morning.” Celestia took one of the mugs with her magic and sipped from it. “Mmm… one cream, just the way I like it. I don’t know what kind of cream this is, but it’s almost as good as what we have in Canterlot.”

Luna shot her a confused look. “I did not raise the sun this morning. I thought you did, and just went back to sleep.”

“Maybe Discord did? It’s not in just the right position, but for him, or you Lulu, it would be a good attempt. Let me fix it.” Celestia’s horn lit and she reached out for the sun again. Her magic grabbed it, or at least it tried to. Her grip faded through the sun in short order. Each attempt at grabbing the sun was met with the gaseous ball slipping through her metaphorical hooves after only a second. For a few minutes, Celestia concentrated on grabbing and moving the sun, with it outright refusing to move. She reluctantly gave up, huffing like a child. “I-I cannot move the sun. Luna, could you try? Maybe I’m still being affected by last night’s cider.”

Luna looked on as Celestia’s brow furrowed more and more for a few minutes. After the first half-minute, she became worried that adjusting the sun was taking so long. When her sister eventually gave up, her thought just before Celestia joined her might just be correct. ‘Celestia cannot move the sun, let us see if I can move it, or the moon. If I cannot, then we might...

Luna quickly nodded and focused inward, lighting her horn. She reached out toward the sun, and tried wrapping her magic around it. She never even got the grip Celestia did, her magic just faded through it. After a few attempts, she moved onto the moon. After searching for it for a minute, she found it. ‘That is weird. I could have sworn it was nearly full, not new…’ It wasn’t even close to its normal position, and was much further away from the planet than she was used to. She latched onto it, and looked back toward Earth.

Spying the planet’s continents, she froze, “Let me find Equus first…” Had she returned her focus to her body, she would’ve noticed her breath hitch and her thoughts accidentally voiced. She let go of the moon, and looked around, trying to find her home continent. “Wh-Where is Equus?” She spun around the planet once more, Equus’s distinct shape missing, and several new forms added. “Where is Equus‽” She returned to her body to find Celestia wide-eyed and her coffee mug on the shelf next to her, pouring its contents down the cart’s interior.

“Sister? Sister, are you there?” Celestia meekly nodded, her stare on Luna’s own mug. “I-I have some bad news. I do not think we are on Earth any more. At least the Earth we know. When I failed to grab the sun, I reached out for the moon.” Luna swallowed heavily as she forced herself to continue. “Though I did grab it, I failed to notice Equus anywhere on this planet.”

“You mean…” Celestia trailed off, looking more forlorn.

“Yes. We are lost somewhere in the universe, with no way to know where our own home is. If the local population is not not immediately hostile, we will be lucky,” Luna finished her sister’s thought. “I wonder, did Discord do this on purpose? I know he was plastered last night, but this could just as easily have been a revenge scheme to be rid of us. With us gone, only Twilight and —”

^<v>^<v>^<v>^

Discord and Applejack had just arrived in Ponyville, on the main road into town proper. Discord stopped and sneezed after a few seconds. “Hmm. Someone far away must be talking about me. Maybe it’s Celestia and Luna?” Applejack just shrugged and made her way into town.

^<v>^<v>^<v>^

“— her friends would stand between him and ruling Equestria again.”

Celestia shuddered, the thought of Discord tricking them so he could take over again now firmly implanted in her mind. “If he didn’t do this to take over, then why send us here?”

“I do not know, sister. I truly do not think even he knows why he does half the things he does,” Luna admitted. “Maybe this is one of his pranks? He has always had the weirdest sense of humor.” Celestia shrugged and the silence continued for a moment.

Luna stomped a hoof. “I still think he is trying to take over Equestria while we are gone.”

“Now Luna, he’s been reformed, remember?” Celestia shot back, sipping her coffee.

“Yes, he has said as much. He has yet to prove it, though. Name one thing he has done to help Equestria, that was not his fault to begin with, since his ‘reformation,’ please,” Luna arrogantly answered.

Celestia took on a hurt look, ears pinning back. “Sister, how long has he been reformed? I recall that it took you a while to take over your responsibilities after you returned.”

Luna scowled at her sister as she spat back, “As true as that may be, he has not had to recover his power like I had to.”

Celestia’s mind was forced to consider that. “I-You raise a very good point, Luna. Still, though, we don’t know what his plans are. When we return, we’ll have to keep a closer eye on him.”

Luna shook her head slightly. “I do not see why we let him out in the first place.” She waved a hoof about. “Sure, he is ‘reformed,’ and that is all well and good, but what does that mean to him? Does it mean that he can get away with minor tricks, biding his time until he can dispose of us in a manner such as this? Or does it mean that he has truly turned good, and is actually looking for us?”

“While I would hope that the latter is true…” Celestia took a breath. “This situation does look like he just dumped us off wherever he could to be rid of us. I just hope that Twilight and her friends can keep him at bay until we return.”

Luna nodded once. “So do I, sister. So do I.”

After a moment of silence the mood broke and she spoke again, “In any case, we should acquire some methods of self-defense. One of these carts would probably suffice, but I doubt the locals would look kindly upon the theft of one.”

“Maybe… Maybe we magically duplicate one, for us? I know the spell is taxing, but between us both, we should be able to do it. We’ll have to get one into the open to perform the spell, though.” Celestia looked forlorn at the spell’s open-space requirement.

“I like the idea, but how are we going to get one out of the building? It is not like these carts are small. While an invisibility spell would work, we couldn’t keep the its sounds muffled at the same time.” Luna knocked ‘invisibility’ off her mental checklist and moved onto the next item. “Teleporting something its size any major distance would be out of the question. It is too large to teleport more than a few dozen feet at best, without draining us. What if we tried to drive it out?”

“If we knew how to control it, and had a clear time to do it, we could. But I doubt we’ll get the opportunity.”

Before another idea could be brought up, another rumble started in the building. It started coming closer and Celestia poked her head up out of the top. She spied one of the carts rolling past, towards the large door. Another rumble started, just next to them.

“If we’re going to get one of these out of here, it looks like we just got our chance! We better be quick about it!” Celestia started looking over the various controls near her. Her horn lit, casting a spell she’d not used in what seemed like ages. An aura wrapped over her eyes, allowing her to see ‘through’ objects. This particular version of the spell let her ‘see’ how an object worked, without actually disassembling it to do so. As she poured over the controls before her, the levers and lines behind them lit up gold to her vision, running down and behind them both, or off to the sides.

Luna’s horn lit up as well, casting a spell much like Celestia’s, wrapping a baby-blue aura over her own eyes. Instead of looking for their own cart’s controls, she peered through the nearby walls to, spying how the locals drove the carts. As she watched, her magic highlighted certain parts of the vehicle that the natives shifted and touched, and what they connected to. As she watched them, she noticed several of the front compartment’s lines and pumps ran all the way to the rear as the cart lurched forward. ‘So… two hoof-pedals, a large lever, and some kind of joystick-wheel hybrid… thing. They are located in the front, near the bottom of the cart.

“Sister, the controls are down there!” Luna pointed to the corresponding controls in front of her. Celestia tried squeezing in, but could not fit around into the chair. Panicking slightly, she ripped the chair from its place and tossed it out the top, sitting in its place on the floor. Remembering the books, she untucked them from her wings and dropped them off into a hole on the left side, next to what looked like a tiny radio. She quickly tested out the pedals, one did nothing, the other caused their own cart’s rumbling to increase in volume.

Luna checked how the cart started moving in the next stall, and relayed the instructions to her sister. “The lever on your right! Squeeze the handle and push it forward until it clicks twice. Then press the right pedal to go! The left one stops and use the wheel to steer, I will direct you!” Luna’s head poked up out the cart’s top and watched the second cart pass before Celestia gunned it. The cart lurched forward, nearly throwing Luna back inside. “Turn right now, sister!”

Celestia turned the wheel, easing up on the pedal slightly, the cart began to turn rather smoothly. As soon as it was turned properly, Luna yelled, “Forward, ‘Tia! I am not sure how long we will have until they notice it is gone!”

The cart grumbled and whined loudly, but complied. It trundled forward, gaining speed until it shot out the front doors, into the sunshine. “Left, sister, follow the road if you can see it. We will make a turn for the forest once we are out of this place!” Celestia responded by pulling hard on the steering wheel-joystick’s left side. The left set of wheels locked up and the cart immediately started skidding, turning sharply to the left. “Ease up, ‘Tia, we do not need to destroy this cart before we can get to safety!” she called down to Celestia.

“Sorry, it’s hard to see out of this thing, its windows are so tiny!” Celestia let up on the pressure and the cart stopped skidding, almost back to their original speed.

“Hold on, I will use some magic to make it a bit easier.” Luna’s horn lit and the front end of the cart lit up the same color, shortly before becoming transparent.

“Thanks, Lu! I can see fine now!” She yelled up to Luna over the cart’s roaring engine. Luna had taken to checking their surroundings, and spied one of the larger buildings doors open wide. She remembered the big winged box from last night, and figured they could check out the building when night fell again, under the guise of an invisibility spell. ‘Besides, if ‘Tia gets something to defend herself, I should too.

“‘Tia? Can you drive us out to the forest inconspicuously? I am not asking for miracles, but I will try to cover our tracks.” Celestia drove the cart out the front gate, following the two other carts. As the road neared the forest, she dove into it, narrowly avoiding trees and boulders. Luna hung on for dear life as she cast spell after spell to smooth over the cart’s trail and fix any damage.

“Hold on, Luna, this is gonna get bumpy!” Celestia called out, noticing the terrain taking on a much rougher appearance. They rolled over hills, accidentally toppled the occasional sapling, and bounced off a large rock or boulder more than once. Luna guided Celestia back to the area they had originally woken up in.

As Celestia turned into their clearing, the adrenaline had worn off. Luna noticed her sister aiming for a gap between two trees and called out, “Sister? I do not think it will-” Luna’s too-late warning had been right, Celestia misjudged the gap, driving right into two large, old trees. The cart stopped in short order, but the ponies inside didn’t until a split second later. The force the cart hit the trees with threw both herself and Luna forward. Celestia herself hit the transparent front, and Luna’s neck and chin slammed into the side of the hole she was looking out of, throwing her tiara out in front of the cart.

Celestia dazedly slumped forward, a hoof still on the accelerator, and the cart’s engine rumbled dangerously. It started to climb the trees until they bowed, and eventually snapped. As the trees snapped, the cart fell with them back onto the ground. The impact jarred Celestia’s hoof free from the accelerator as she fell sideways. The cart’s engine settled back down and it rolled only a short distance before stopping.

Author's Note:

Blame CDR for this. He put the first paragraph into my head, and I went with it from there. It’s much better than the idea I had for that, originally.

There is one joke in this chapter that I refused to make. If you can find where it could’ve been made and make it, you get an internet cookie.