• Published 23rd Feb 2014
  • 1,769 Views, 54 Comments

A Dandy Crusade - divinearcadia



What happens when Space Dandy, the galaxy's suavest, good looking and sharp dressed man ends up on Equestria after an incident with his hyper drive? Well... lets just hope he doesn't do anything he'll regret later...

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A Pie and Three Little Fillies, Baby

SO IT SEEMED LIKE THE END FOR SPACE DANDY...

But not really, as he groaned sluggishly while draped over the pilots console of the Aloha Oe. Blinking around owlishly, the sharply dressed ladies man smacked his lips a couple times as he viewed the familiar surroundings.

“Hey! QT! Where the hell are we?” He shouted to his medium sized, bean-shaped robotic companion with a wince as he hadn't noticed his sharp headache until just that moment. That would clear up in a jiffy. Concussions were all in a days work for being a dandy after all.

“Hey, Dandy,” QT said in a chipper tone as he rolled around to his companions side, his extendable arms presenting a glass of water and a pair of aspirin to Dandy, all of which was quickly downed before being returned. “Finally up?”

“Yeah...” He muttered. “What the hell happened? You know where we are?”

“Lemme check.” QT replied before his display blanked out to reveal a massive scrolling of ones and zeroes. A few seconds, a long slip of paper punctured with circles and a wavering sigh later, QT finally came back from whatever place he goes to in his little cybertronic head when he does his thing and replied, “Nope. Not a clue.”

“Ugh... Dammit QT!” Dandy half shouted. “Do you know how much it costs me for a roll of paper for you? You're not exactly a common model anymore.”

“Well excuse me...” Qt replied with as much sarcasm a bean shaped robot could muster. “I thought you asked me to find out where we were, not to be worried about my operating expenses.”

“Smart ass...” Dandy grumbled. “You wanna check out the planet? I want to head out and check the Aloha Oe for damage.”

“Sure.” QT replied wearily. “Gimme a minute.”

“I'm gonna head to the bathroom and get ready,” Dandy said as he lurched up from his seat to do just that. A dandy had to look the part after all.

“Alright.” QT replied absentmindedly.

Dandy made his way from the cockpit into the familiar depths of his beloved ship to the spartan bathroom to prep for exiting the ship. First, he wet his face and ran a razor over his square cut jaw quickly to ensure an absolutely smooth surface for any of the potential foxy ladies that might be out there that might want a touch of the living, breathing Dandy himself. Grabbing his comb, he quickly and effortlessly corralled any rogue strands of hair that even remotely entertained the thought of deviating from his perfectly quaffed pompadour. With a liberal application of hairspray to ensure his hairs cooperation, he then quickly stripped to his skivvies and redressed in another set of similar clothes after a quick spritzing of cologne. Once finished, he struck a quick series of poses, checking his appeal in the mirror before exiting to find QT silently waiting.

“So, what's the word, QT?” He asked while stepping around the droid.

“Looks like you're in the green, Dandy,” he replied while wheeling around to follow him.

“Nice... Been a while since I could go out au naturale.” He replied with a half smirk. “Is Meow around? I could use a hand if there's any serious damage.”

“He's passed out in the lounge right now.” QT replied. “I don't think he's used to the regular concussions yet.”

“Eh... He has to at some point...” Dandy replied with a shrug. “I mean, it only took me a couple years to get used to 'em.”

“Sometimes I wonder...” QT muttered in what one could only assume was under his breath if a droid as capable of breath.

“What was that?” Dandy asked with an annoyed glance over his shoulder.

“Nothing!” QT replied nervously. “Just... don't cause an incident if you come across any of the locals... please?”

“Hey! If they respect the dandy, the Dandy respects them.” He replied smugly. With a sigh ranging in the single decibels, QT kept his silence as they finally reached the airlock where Dandy deftly buckled a laser gun to his belt. “If the damage isn't too bad, I'll do a little scouting around. You never know what might pop up on these little hunks of rock.”

“Right.” QT deadpanned. “Your communicator working okay?”

“Yeah, yeah. The damn thing's indestructible anyway.” He muttered under his breath as though QT were an overbearing parent. “See you soon, little buddy.” With that, Dandy popped the hatch open with an easy slap of his palm before he hopped out.

“See ya, Dandy,” QT replied as Dandy dropped twenty feet to the ground. “Just don't do anything we'll regret while you're out there...”


“Huh... Seems as though the Aloha Oe finds its way out of another tricky situation.” Dandy mused after a quick survey around the perimeter of his ship, finding nothing more than some scuffed paint after landing in some fairly soft earth. “Now to see if there's anything worth my time on this planet...” Dandy said with wicked smile.

Finally taking the time to look around the area since his worries about his precious ship have been put to rest, he noticed that he's in the middle of a fairly dense forest around what would be considered the early morning for this particular area of this particular planet. Being completely lost on a potentially hostile world, Dandy casually shoved his hands in his pockets and walked in the direction the Aloha Oe is facing, trusting to fate and the luck of the dandy to see him through. Unfortunately for him, there's no such thing as the “luck of the dandy” and fate was snickering behind its hand for what he had planned.

As he trekked through the forest, Dandy glanced about for any sign of civilization through the thick foliage and underbrush. Seeing no immediate sign, he continued on his way, meandering through the woods wherever her he felt he should go. Unsurprisingly, he quickly found himself completely and unaccountably lost, not even the Aloha Oe was visible anymore. After all, a dandy like him couldn't be blamed for getting lost unless some outside force conspired to thwart his suave plans. With a sigh, he was about to use his wrist communicator to get in touch with QT but stopped once he smelled an absolutely amazing scent as it drifted by his nose before disappearing without a trace. Not to be teased and left wanting, he stalked in the general direction of the wind to find out what it was that drew the attention of one such as himself while all thoughts about getting back were forgotten for the time being.

As he made his way in this new direction, he vaguely noticed that the trees became interspersed with fruit bearing trees which taunted him with their own aroma but left him wanting. There! It was that smell again! Looking in the direction he had been going, he spotted what appeared to be a small, wooden house levitating in the distance. As he walked stealthily towards it, he noticed that it was simply a tree house and not the abode of some advanced alien race. Checking the immediate area, he spotted no creatures around that might call this place home and quickly made his way to the abode before tracing the origin of that siren-like aroma to the inside of the small building. He clumsily clambered his way over the guard rail and spotted a still cooling pie on a small table inside. Knowing that the owners of this place would take pride in helping such a handsome soul, he made his way around the building until he found the front door and let him self in.

The inside was quite a bit smaller then he had anticipated but made due as he sat one of the small, three legged stools that rested around said table and leaned giddily over the delectable confection of legendary culinary skill to savor the aroma. He hadn't eaten in who knows how long, so he could be close to starving and his stomach agreed to that sentiment as he took the moderately warm pie, tin and all, and lifted it to his waiting, heavily salivating mouth... but paused.

He had heard something. Something like the sound of gravel being mercilessly punished for being something that was walked on instead of being something more useful. He placed the pie back down and quickly ducked below the lip of the window behind him to peer out into the woods. He waited for a few moments but saw nothing, so he tallied it up to his food deprived mind distracting him from his delectable goal. He returned to his spot at the table and lifted the pie back to his mouth and took a bite this time. Oh how sweet and tangy, syrupy and light, spicy and... you know what? I think you get the picture. Well anyway, Dandy found his whole world revolving around his mouth and found nirvana in that one amazing mouthful. So much, in fact, that he didn't notice the slack jawed company that had just walked into the small building.

“W-what the hay?...” One of them said in a slightly breathless drawl.

“What is it...” Said the next one with a slight rasp to its voice.

“I really like its mane...” Said the third with a slight crack in its voice.

Now, Dandy didn't notice what had just happened as he was still lost in the land of taste. That sound he had heard was not a fabrication of his mind, but a real noise as the trio of small quadrupeds barreled their way down the well worn pathway to their usual stomping grounds. It just so happened that the wind shifted enough to disguise their approach and their eagerness to partake in the same treat that Dandy was eating halted their usual chatter in a kind of anticipatory fugue of hunger and excitement.

“HEY!” Yelled one of the little creatures as it suddenly realized what was happening. “THAT'S OUR PIE!”

“YEAH!” Exclaimed another before it impulsively ran towards the much larger Dandy to jump and kick at his head. Due to some freak gravitational shift, Dandy went tumbling from his perch when the hard end of the limb connected with the side of his head. Quickly righting himself into a dashingly defensive pose, he assessed his assailant and drew his side arm with a twirl to point it towards the source of his attack.

“Hey!” He yelled as that amazing pastry finally fell back to the table. “What's the big idea?!”

“You're eating our pie you big... stupid... thing!” Yelled the same one that had kicked him, its raspy voice grating on his ears due how loudly it was yelling.

“Finders keepers!” He retorted in all seriousness, thrusting his fire arm in the direction of the hostile creature.

“It wasn't lost in the first place!” It yelled back. Now that he had a chance to look at the creature, he noticed that it was tiny. Really tiny. Tiny enough that it would have been a gamble as to which would win in a fight between it and any random house cat. It was small, sure, but the buzzing appendages on top of it quickly drew his attention back to it from his idle thought. It was a orangeish-tan color with a hideously haphazard mop of purple hair on top of its head, with an eye color to match and had a voice far louder than its size would indicate. “What're you doing in our clubhouse anyway?!”

“Hey...” He said calmly, trying to placate the little... thing. “Can't you at least help out a dandy in need? I mean, seriously, I'm practically starving over here!”

“Starvin'?!” Exclaimed one from further back. Dandy noticed that this one was a light tan color with a perfectly accented head of red hair while its eyes glinted with a rich, golden color. “C'mon Scootaloo... It said it's starvin', so we can share a little, right?”

“Augh! Apple Bloom!” Scootaloo half groaned. “I waited all last night for your sisters apple pie as breakfast and I'm not about to go letting some... weirdo pie gobbler take any away from me!”

“Fine!” Apple Bloom retorted, obviously offended at her acquaintances reluctance to help a dandy in need. “He can have some of mine then.” She finished with a dismissive gesture that was obvious in any race.

“H-he can have some from my part too.” Said the third little creature,a slight crack in its voice causing it to stammer slightly. This one had a shockingly white coat with a head of curly lilac and pink hair with a small, white horn poking out slightly and looked at him with light green eyes.

“Ya sure about that Sweetie Belle?” Apple Bloom asked with an imploring look in the others direction. “I know I'm fine 'bout it, but I know you've been looking forward to that pie as much as Scoots has.”

“It's okay.” Sweetie Belle replied with a slightly wobbly smile that strengthened as she continued, “I know Rarity would be proud of me helping out somepony in need.”

“Ugh...” Scootaloo said while faking a gag. “Seriously? It just tried to eat our pie not even a minute ago! We don't even know what it is! You don't have to give it anything!”

“C'mon Scoots.” Apple Bloom wheedled. “There's still gonna be plenty left for each of us if we split it four ways.”

“Whatever...” She grumbled before turning back to Dandy. “But I'm watching you... So don't think about trying anything funny.”

“Hey...” Dandy placated with a look of helplessness. “You're letting me eat some of your pie... If anything, I'm in your debt.”

“It ain't anythin' like that,” Apple Bloom said with a stomp of her hoof. “So don't worry 'bout it an' enjoy some pie.”

“Thanks.” He replied. “I'm Dandy, by the way. Space Dandy.”

“Even its name is weird...” Scootaloo said while facehoofing herself.

“Shut it Scoots.” Apple Bloom countered before introducing herself. “Pleasure ta meet ya, Dandy. I'm Apple Bloom.”

“Sweetie Belle.” She chipped in.

“Scootaloo...” She said with a defeated sigh.

“Now, lets get that pie cut up proper an' dig in!” Apple Bloom said cheerfully.

“That sounds like a plan!” Dandy said happily.

***

Now, while this was going on, events were taking place that would end up involving repercussions that would shake the multiverse to its very core. Off in Canterlot, deep in the ancient stone foundations of the Princesses seat of power, something awoke. When it awoke, Celestia herself was in the middle of a late brunch as several lobbyists had taken up a good portion of her morning time in seeking out funding for some large scale factory, super farm or any other thing likely to make obscene amounts of money for minimal operating expenses. To say the least, their proposals were shot down unanimously once she had read through them. But now, in a rare moment of rest, she found herself shocked to say the least and a name on her lips when she felt it awaken.

“Dandy...” She whispered, eyes wide and an expression of unbelief fighting against a plethora of other emotions adorning her normally stoic facade.

“Your Majesty?” One of her maids asked, worried at her odd behavior. “Is everything alright?”

“Please excuse me,” she said hastily as she left her chair and made her way around the table. “There's a very important matter that I need to deal with at this moment.”

“Of course.” The maid replied, reverting to her etiquette training despite curiosity and worry warring inside. Once Celestia had left the hall, she ran. She didn't walk briskly, trot, canter or even use a teleportation spell to go to her destination. No. She ran. Guards, maids, government workers and even tourists were witness to a sight that defied logic. One of their Princesses was running. What could it be that caused one of their stoic and steadfast rulers to run down the halls? They would likely never know, but they knew one thing for certain. It wasn't good.


After several almost ran-into-ponies, sixteen thousand bits worth of personal property damage and a half hour later, Celestia stood before a dark gray expanse of wall. The only thing to set this area apart from any other nondescript expanse of wall was a small, triangle shaped protrusion around shoulder height. To the many ponies that had seen it over the past centuries, it was something of an odd curiosity. To Celestia, however, it was a lock to keep one of her many secrets, and a precious treasure safe.

As her breathing slowed, she slowly removed her right forehoof from its gilded covering and placed it on the upper surface of the protrusion which flashed with a dim green light before reverting to its previous state. A second after the light died, a sharp hiss of pneumatically sealed air sounded to the left of the object as a section of the wall slid back and to the left revealing a bright, white hallway that slanted slightly down. Without wasting another second, Celestia strode purposefully through the entrance and the door resealed itself behind her. She walked briskly down the white marble hallway, the floor and walls polished to a nearly perfect mirror finish, her hooves echoing hollowly around her. Eventually, the hallway ended as she walked into a room three times the size of the throne room, home to a massive construct that did not belong on their small planet or in their very dimension.

It was a space ship.

And it was hers.

***

“So...” Dandy said, his voice muffled by a mouthful of pie. “What are you three? I know you're girls at least, but seriously. What are you?”

“We're ponies!” Sweetie Belle chirped happily.

“Ponies?” He asked for clarification. Surely these cute little things couldn't be related to what he knew as ponies. “But you talk! Ponies don't talk!”

“Well you're a big ape and all they do is hoop and holler, throwing their crap everywhere.” Scootaloo retorted scathingly.

“I'm not an ape.” He replied with a scornful glance at his antagonist. “I'm a human.”

“Hew-man?” Apple Bloom said curiously. “Funny sounding thing ta call yerself.”

“Hey, I didn't come up with the name,” he replied with a dismissive wave of his hand. “Some guy or other did thousands of years ago.”

“Huh.”

“So why are you here, Dandy?” Sweetie asked. “Are you lost or something?”

“Something like that,” he said with a sigh. “Our ship crashed a little ways off from here and we don't know where we are.”

“Crashed?!” Apple Bloom said suddenly. “You're what made that hullabaloo last night?”

“I guess so,” he said with a chagrined grimace. “My ship's okay, so I thought I'd do a little exploring around to see if there was any civilization on this planet and it looks like I found it.”

“I'd say so,” Apple Bloom said with a chuckle.

“What do you mean 'planet,' Dandy?” Sweetie Belle asked as she picked up on his choice of words.

“I'm an alien hunter!” He said with a dramatic flourishing of his fork. “I look for new species of aliens, risking life and limb to take them to the Space Alien Registration Bureau! If they're unregistered, I get a decent amount of scratch for my troubles,” he finished with a grin at the white filly.

“So... where are you from exactly?” Apple Bloom asked, apparently not getting the core concept.

“Space!” He said, pointing to some unknown point through the roof of their clubhouse.

“No way.” Scootaloo scoffed around her mouth of pie. “He has to be lying. I mean, look at him! He isn't even wearing a space suit... Besides, he's not even a robot!”

“So?” He said mockingly. “If I can breath your air, I don't need a suit.”

“He's got ya there, Scoots.” Apple Bloom snickered. She just stuck her tongue out at Apple Bloom for a reply.

“So, are you really not from here?” Sweetie asked, her eyes wide in wonder.

“Darn right, little missy.” He replied.

“Do you think you could show us what it's like?” She asked, suddenly gushing with an overabundance of hopeful excitement. At his confused expression, she pointed through the roof with her unoccupied hoof.

“Oh!” He said, suddenly understanding. “Why the heck not?”

***

Back in Canterlot, far below the castle, Celestia walked through the bowels of the ship. As she made her way through it, memories came to her unbidden, memories of a time long ago that were struck from the annals of history. With a bittersweet smile, she finally came to her destination. A room in a roughly oval shape with dead consoles, empty seats and air that had a faintly antiseptic aroma to it. Well, that's not entirely accurate as one of the consoles had a faintly pulsing light, drawing her attention to it like an iron shaving to a lodestone. She paused for a moment, watching it pulse a few more times to ensure that it was real and not some figment of her imagination. Satisfied that it was real, she strode over to the seat behind the console, took a seat and raised her hoof to press the button and paused a hairsbreadth away from making contact with it. Is it worth it? She thought, suddenly weary. It would be nice to see him after so long... With that thought, she made contact with the button. Before her, the console lit up and a display rose up before her, showing a topographic representation of Equestria with two differently colored dots, one golden and the other red. She pressed a couple buttons and the display shifted quickly to show the area immediately around the red dot.

“He's near Sweet Apple Acres?” She said softly, with a heavy tone of incredulous disbelief. “It's almost as though Fate's playing a joke on me or something.”

***

“Awesome!” Apple Bloom yelled, flakes of pie crust flying from her mouth. “Ya can really do it?!”

“Just who do you think I am?” He asked rhetorically.

“Some weirdo who tried to steal our pie?” Scootaloo snarked.

“I said I was sorry!” Dandy groused.

“No you didn't.” Scootaloo retorted grumpily.

“Oh... Sorry?” He said lamely.

“Yeah, like that's an apology...” She scoffed.

“Ugh! What is your deal?!”

“My 'deal' is that some weirdo jerk broke into our clubhouse and tried to eat all of our pie!”

“Jeez! What do I need to do to show you I'm sorry!”

“Shut it, Scoots.” Apple Bloom cut in. “Lets say he can take us to see outer space and does. That good enough fer ya?”

“Only if there's a robot...” She grumbled.

“Oh! Then there isn't a problem.” Dandy said happily. “When you girls are done with your pie, we can get going.”

“Sweet!” Scootaloo said, her excitement over the upcoming adventure finally breaking through her annoyance at Dandy.

“I was wondering about something, Dandy...” Sweetie said, pausing in her eating while her friends began to eat their pie with gusto.

“Yeah?”

“Well... you were talking about that Registration Bureau and we don't know anything about it.” She said slowly. “So if we went there with you to get registered and you get all that money, would you take us all on an adventure?”

“An adventure?”

“Yeah!” She said, brimming with excitement. “You see, we're trying to get our cutie marks and I don't think anypony anywhere has a cutie mark from space, so if we get one on an adventure with you, we would have the most special cutie marks in all of Equestria!” At her words, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo stopped eating, looked up from their plates and looked to Sweetie Belle in awe of her idea.

“What's a cutie mark?” He asked.

“It a symbol that appears on our flanks that shows what our special talent is.” Scootaloo provided.

“Huh,” he said with a perplexed expression. “Well if that don't beat all...”

“So, how about it?” Sweetie asked seriously. “We got a deal?”

“Eh, why not?” He said nonchalantly. “I mean, really... What's the worst that could happen?”

With their plan set in motion, and agreement made, the pie was eaten in record time. Soon enough they found themselves leaving the clubhouse and walking between the trees of Sweet Apple Acres. As they walked, Dandy brought his communicator up and pressed a small button which caused it to glow blue instead of its usual green.

“What're ya doin'?” Bloom asked as she saw him start waving his arm around.

“I got kinda lost on the way to your clubhouse, so I'm using my communicator to point me in the right direction.” He answered.

“So waving your arm around like an idiot has a purpose. Who woulda guessed?” Scootaloo said with a snicker.

“Just shut up and follow me, smart ass.” He grumbled. She just snickered more but kept silent as Dandy started walking when the bracelet changed its color from blue to red. It took them about twenty minutes before glimpses of the golden hull of the Aloha Oe started peeking through the foliage. Soon enough, they were standing between a pair of trees, staring at the full glory of his ship. “So, whaddaya think?” Unsurprisingly, the trio of fillies were completely silent, eyes wide and mouths agape. He just chuckled at their expressions and started walking to the open bay. Without looking back, he yelled, “Are you three coming or what?”

Snapping out of their haze of disbelief (after all, who would have thought that this strange creature would actually be what he said he was, not to mention the absolutely massive ship he flew in on) they cantered over and followed him up the ramp. They walked through a sliding door that opened after he hit it lightly and into the ship proper.

“Welcome to the Aloha Oe, girls.” He said warmly. “I normally don't do this sorta thing, but I'll give you a grand tour.”

“I thought a space ship would have been... shinier,” Scootaloo said with a slightly put off tone.

“Shinier?”

“I mean... It's shiny and all, but I thought it would be like... twenty percent shinier.”

“Why would my ship need to be so shiny?”

“I dunno.” She replied. “It just felt like something I should point out.”

“Right.” He deadpanned. “C'mon, lets go.”

With that, he took his newest companions on to show them the wonders of his mighty ship.

***

“Twilight?!” Celestia called upon immediately teleporting into the middle of Golden Oaks main floor. “I urgently need your help!”

“Princess Celestia?!” She half yelled as she flipped herself over the back of her couch where she had been reading. “What's the matter?” She asked as she raised her head over its back, a worried expression on her face.

“Has Applejack been by at all with word of an explosion or tremors near her house?” She asked urgently. “Something has happened and I need to go out to her farm to deal with it.”

“No, she hasn't.” Twilight said. “We should get over there sooner rather than later if it has you this worked up.”

“Yes, Twilight.” She said worriedly. “Time is of the essence here.”

“Alright, let me teleport us then.” She said as she trotted around the couch to stand beside the taller alicorn. A moment of concentration, and a flash of lilac light found the pair a few paces from the front porch of the farmstead.

“What the hay?!” Applejack yelled as they blinked into existence inches in front of her snout, Twilight looking slightly grim and a Celestia worried that was shifting slightly in anxiety. A worried Celestia was never a good thing.

“Applejack!” Twilight said in relief. “Just the pony we were looking for.”

“Yer lookin' fer me? What about?” She asked, confused and slightly frightened by their odd behavior.

“Did you notice any explosions or tremors last night?” Celestia asked urgently. “I need to know if you have.”

“Not that I know of.” She said with a strange look. “But then again, it's apple buckin' season, so sometimes Big Mac or Ah end up sleep buckin' the walls somethin' fierce. If somethin' like that happened last night, we prob'ly slept right through it. What's this all 'bout anyway, Princess?”

“I need to quickly find someone who recently arrived on Equestria. He landed in the woods near the edge of your property and I think that if we hurry, we can still make it in time before he leaves again.”

“We what're we waitin' fer, Princess?” Applejack said as she pawed the ground. “Lets get a move on!”

At her words, Celestia hesitated slightly before whirling around slightly to take to the air with Twilight a moment behind her while Applejack galloped at full speed behind them. They made quick progress and soon spotted a glinting object some few miles in the distance.

“Princess!” Twilight yelled, slightly breathless at the rapid pace they were flying. “What is that?!”

“Thank Faust he's still here...” She muttered as she lowered her head and beat her wings all the harder, leaving Twilight behind. “There's still a chance...”

“Princess!” Twilight called futilely.

***

“And that's it!” Dandy said with a flourish as they stood in the cockpit, the forests around them visible for miles around through the windows.

“I thought you said you had a robot.” Scootaloo said accusingly, slightly glaring up at Dandy.

“I do, but the heck if I know where that rust bucket's at.” He replied helplessly. “I'm not his keeper.”

“Whatever.” She replied with a sigh.

“So, you three ready to go?” He said with a roguish grin.

“Sure!” Sweetie said excitedly.

“Great! Hop in one of the seats and we'll be on our way!” He said eagerly. With varying levels of excitement, they did as he said while he powered up the ship which hummed and vibrated slightly as its engine started up.

“Whoa! Did you feel that?!” Apple Bloom said in a slightly nervous tone.

“Yeah!” Sweetie responded with barely concealed excitement. “This is gonna be so awesome!”

“Hold on tight, girls! We're ready to go!” He yelled as he pulled back on the controls. They looked outside with wide eyes as the ship began to ascend and the trees began to slowly fall disappear.

“Holy hay he wasn't lying after all.” Scootaloo said softly, still skeptical until the very end.

***

“No...” Celestia said as a feeling of dread formed in the bottom of her stomach as she saw the ship began to rise from the ground. “No! Dandy, wait!” She yelled uselessly at the leaving ship. Though she tried her hardest, she had missed her chance as the Aloha Oe continued to rise further, its nose tilting up as it prepared to fire its main thrusters. A moment later, a violet jet of energy appeared from behind and it started to accelerate to escape velocity. It tripled in size and before long, it was nothing more than a black speck in the sky. Wearily, Celestia finally descended to the crash site and sat down in the middle of it, still looking at the spot where his ship had finally disappeared from sight. She sat there for about minute before Twilight finally landed at the edge of the site where she waited for Applejack to catch up about another minute later.

They slowly walked up to the Princess, uncertain as to what they should do exactly. To say the very least, it was unsettling to see her in such a state. Eventually, Applejack had had enough and decided to cut to the heart of the matter. “What the hay was that, Princess?”

“Someone I knew from a very long time ago, Applejack.” She replied listlessly. “Someone I don't think I'll see ever again, honestly.”

“Why do you say that, Princess?” Twilight said cautiously.

“Well, I'm pretty sure he doesn't remember me or where he was, so I doubt he'll be by again.” She replied.

“Why don't you go after him?” Applejack said seriously.

“I can't just leave Equestria so suddenly and without warning, Applejack. It would cause total chaos and I doubt Luna would appreciate having to deal with the mess.”

“Why don't you send us then?” Applejack said with a gun-ho grin. “Ah'm sure Big Mac can handle tha chores fer a while an' Apple Bloom can lend a hoof here or there.”

“I couldn't ask you to do that for me, Applejack,” she said as she turned to look at the mare.

“Yer not askin', Princess, Ah'm volunteerin'.” She replied.

“I'd be happy to help reunite you with your friend too, Princess.” Twilight added earnestly. “In fact, I'm sure all the girls would be happy to help too.”

“No, I couldn't have you girls do that. I know him too well for it to be an easy matter of chasing him down.” She replied.

“We'll make it happen fer ya.” Applejack said seriously. “After all you've done fer us, it's the least we could do.” Twilight nodded in agreement.

“If you truly want to...” She said, giving them one last chance to back out, but seeing their expressions firm, she continued. “Then tell any of the girls that if they come along that they may be gone for a very long time. It won't be easy and might not always make sense, but I would forever be in all of your debt if you bring him back. Once you have everything taken care of, make haste to Canterlot and meet me in the throne room.”

“Sure thing, Princess.” Applejack said with a smile. “Ah just gotta check on tha Crusaders real quick an' Ah'll go make my rounds to tha girls.”

“I'll go let Pinkie Pie and Rarity know what's going on, Applejack.” Twilight said before she disappeared in a flash of light.

“I'll accompany you, Applejack, if you don't mind.” Celestia said as she stood up. “I need to clear my mind a little bit anyway.”

“Ah don't mind, Princess, though the Crusaders might be a bit surprised at seein' ya. They were havin' a sleep over in their clubhouse instead o' tha farm so they wouldn't have ta deal with our sleep buckin'.” She said with a smirk. At Celestia's smile, Applejack turned and made her way back into the woods with Celestia close behind. Some time later, the clubhouse came into view, though it was strangely silent to Applejack. “Must be takin' a nap or somethin'. Shouldn't take me long to check up on 'em then.” She said as she made her way up the ramp. Celestia sat down and lowered her head in weariness from her frantic flight. If she hadn't sat exactly there, lowered her head at exactly that angle and the time of day had been any earlier, she wouldn't have seen something that made her heart seemingly jump into her throat as it did. She saw a set of footprints in the soft soil surrounding the clubhouse. Footprints that couldn't belong to any pony.

“He wouldn't...” She whispered, eyes widening. “He would...” She corrected.

“Huh...” Applejack said as she came back out. “Ah thought they'd be here since Scootaloo's scooter an' wagon's still here, but they must be out playin' or somethin'.”

“I... don't think that's the case, Applejack.” Celestia said, her heart still beating rapidly. “I think you girls need to get to Canterlot as fast as you can.”

“What do ya mean by that?” She asked, worry leaching into her voice.

“I think Dandy was here...” She said, her certainty about events firming in her mind. “And I think the girls might have left with him...”

“Left?” She repeated dumbly a moment before realization struck her harder than a buck from Big Mac to the face. “Y-you mean... up there?!”

“I'm afraid so, Applejack... It appears as though there's more at stake here than we had thought and time is of the essence.” Celestia said worriedly. “Quickly now! Gather your friends and I'll teleport us directly to Canterlot from the library.” At her last word, Applejack sprinted off as though the hounds of Tartarus were nipping at her hooves. Celestia sighed wearily, a long day suddenly becoming intolerably so. “Dandy... you idiot...”


“Princess!” Twilight yelled as she and the rest of her companions rushed into the library. “What's this about your friend taking the girls with him?!”

“I'm afraid it's true, everypony... Much to my dismay,” she responded sadly.

“What kind of brute would foal-nap three fillies!” Rarity fumed, her anger a raging inferno.

“When we catch up to that guy, I'm gonna buck him up with a sonic rain-boom!” Rainbow Dash said vehemently.

“Please, Rainbow Dash, go easy on him... He's kind of an idiot...” Celestia said wearily. Something about her expression gave pause to the assembled ponies.

“There's something yer not tellin' us, Princess.” Applejack said as she picked up on it. “There's somethin' yer hidin'.” Celestia winced at the accusation.

“If it's important, we should know about it, Celestia.” Twilight said, her tone probing.

“Yeah!” Pinkie chipped in. “You'll feel a lot better if you get it off your chest.”

“Well, I want to get the girls back as much as everypony else, but you seem upset about something and if it's important, we need to know.” Fluttershy said firmly, surprising everypony, even Celestia.

She sighed, worn down by the stress of the day and the words of her company. “Well... You see... He's... my fiancee'.”

Author's Note:

Something that may or may not break minds... Continue at the peril to your sanity... or what's left of it anyway... :D