• Published 14th Feb 2015
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Mass Effect: Gathering Storm - Meluch

When a Prothean Beacon is unearthed on Eden Prime and a rogue Spectre starts a galactic manhunt begins. When the Elements of Harmony are found to be missing, a coming storm threatens to destroy everything.

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Chapter Twenty-Seven - Recovery

Chapter Twenty-Seven - Recovery
Solar One, Armali, Thessia
April 12, 2183

Princess Celestia Sol was immortal in almost every sense of the word. That didn’t mean she couldn't die, but it would never be for such a mundane reason as old age.

When you lived as long as Celestia, you had all the time in the universe to learn how to do things. It led to amazing insights that she still built upon every day. When she had passed her first thousandth birthday, she had come to the realization that ponies often fit within narrow boxes, and it was easy to tell their thoughts and feelings and actions after just a short time with them. It was the rare few who ever managed to surprise her, and those she cherished, for they were what added the flavor to life.

That isn’t to say that Celestia didn’t love all of her little ponies, nor that she didn’t understand that they all had hopes and dreams and fears all of their own. It just meant that she could often predict what they would do better than they could themselves.

Twilight Sparkle just so happened to be one of those rare few, just like Starswirl before her, and a few others before him. There weren’t many of them, and she always treasured them.

It was surprising then, that Celestia met another rare pony in the form of Maud Pie. It was rare in the fact that actions the mare had taken directly led to Twilight having been captured and tortured at the hands of a sadistic mad man.

It was not a position Celestia had ever imagined she would be in.

If she was careful, it would be a situation she would never be in again.

Celestia had sat unmoving behind her desk in her office on Solar One for nearly an hour, unblinking, staring across at Maud, who was standing, having refused a seat. They hadn't said a word the entire time.

Maid was the first to blink, and with that Celestia smiled. She'd won.

"Smile Incorporated," Celestia said, her voice even and calm despite the emotions that raged and boiled within her.

"What about it?" Maud spoke with a monotone voice, and it actually surprised Celestia at the dullness of it.

"Was it always a front?" Celestia asked, managing to keep the surprise out of her voice.

"Yes." Maud didn't elaborate further. Whether that was because she was intentionally being frustrating, or because she legally couldn't say anything more, Celestia didn't know.

Time to try a different avenue of attack.

"I should place you and your sister under arrest for treason against the crown." Digging deep into the side of her that conquered the Griffins, Celestia let the fire of hate build in her chest.

"Pinkie Pie knew nothing about the true purpose of Smile. She is innocent." Maud's sudden elaboration let Celestia know that she'd struck a nerve.

"No," Celestia continued pushing. "I rather think that she is not. Knowing or not, she is still heavily connected to one of the largest crime families Equestria, not to mention the galaxy, has ever seen. She'll be lucky is she doesn't spend the next fifty years in prison."

"You are trying to coerce me into giving you information. It will not work." Despite Maud's words, Celestia was not convinced.

"I don't think you understand the position you're in." Celestia hummed, a hint of flame building behind her eyes.

"My father took direct actions that lead to the capture of the Celestial Emissary, whereupon we handed her over to the organization known as Cerberus, and their agent, Kai Leng, who tortured Twilight Sparkle to his own ends." Her entire explanation was matter of fact, with no attempts to hide or lessen her own participation in the matter.

If she wasn't responsible for so much pain and anger, Celestia could have respected Maud for her honesty.

As it was, she didn't care.

"So you do get it." Celestia's eyes narrowed. "Yet you're not begging for your life."

Pushing away from her desk, Celestia stood to her full height. She absolutely towered over Maud, who was already small for an earth pony. Spreading her wings, she let her rage shine through! Her eyes went pure white, glowing with the power of her sun, and her mane ignited into an inferno. When she spoke, her voice was that of a legion.

"I could strike you down where you stand and no one would so much as reprimand me. I could hunt down and destroy your family, and I would be congratulated." The thick carpet made by the best weavers in Saddle Arabia burned under Celestia's hooves, and for once, Maud gave a true reaction. She shifted, ever so slightly backwards. "Do not think for a single moment that your life, and the lives of all those you hold dear are in my hooves. I will not hesitate to end you. Now answer me! Why should I leave you alive?"

"Because you need my sister, and I have sworn my life to protect her above all else." Despite any fear that she may or may not have, Maud kept her voice steady, even as she kept a wary eye on the Empress.

"Why?" Celestia snorted, curls of smoke wafting from her nose.

"That is not important." Maud was indeed a rare pony. To stand before Celestia's rage and not so much as flinch...

"I rather think it is." Celestia would not be moved. She would see her star burn out before she ever let more harm come to Twilight Sparkle.

"All that matters is that Pinkie Pie is free and alive. I will give my life if that is what is required of me to ensure that."

Celestia watched as one of Maud's back leg started to shiver. Unflinching as she might be, the instinct to run to safety was something she couldn't escape.

"You are certainly devoted." Celestia let her voice return to normal, and felt her eyes dim ever so slightly.

"My father demanded nothing less." Maud's back leg stopped shaking, and she visibly calmed herself.

"A cruel man, your father."

"Yes. He loved us all." Maud did not disagree, but she was quick to point out his better qualities.

"But not equally, it would seem." Celestia had no qualms pushing somepony to their breaking point. She knew that she was close, with Maud.

Maud didn't answer, but her slow blink was enough.

"He certainly plays favorites, if he is willing to keep Pinkie 'untainted' by the true happenings if your family. Did he wish to damn you all, but keep her pure?" Pinkie Pie was the key to understanding Maud, Celestia deduced.

"You don't know what you are talking about." The waver in Maud's voice was indicative of how panicked she was feeling.

"I rather think I do." Celestia snorted again, smoke tickling the edges of her nostrils. "I am older than Equestria itself, and I have seen and done things you would never believe. Do not tell what I do and do not know."

Celestia stared down at Maud.

"You are a small mare, prone to violence and cruelty, though you may not see yourself as cruel. You don't take any pleasure in your actions, be they good or bad. You are simply a body without a soul, wandering through life without a compass."

Maud stayed silent. She wasn't vulnerable to many souls, and to have Celestia peel back her walls so effortlessly and see the true pony within unsettled her to the extreme.

"Yet you choose to care for your little sister." Celestia took her seat again, putting them at much more of an even setting, though she still say taller than the earth pony.

"She is all that matters." There was a hint of resignation in Maud's voice.

"Yes. You've said that." Celestia frowned, thinking. This was not what she had imagined herself doing when she had given Twilight her task. "You have yet to give me a reason to keep you alive."

"You will make up your own mind. I can do nothing to change that."

Celestia didn't like that answer.

Sparkle House, Canterlot, Equestria
April 12, 2183

Night Light was a simple stallion. Though he may have been a minor part of the aristocracy, he didn’t believe that he was better than anypony else. He loved his wife, and he loved his children, and that’s all there was to it.

When his little Sparkle had been born, he had never expected that she would end up being entangled in the lives of the most powerful ponies to have ever existed. He had never expected that she would spend months at a time at the Royal Castle, learning spells he had never even dreamed of, under the careful tutelage of Princess Celestia herself. He had never expected that she would become one of the most powerful ponies herself.

He had never expected that it would lead her to such danger.

Night Light stared through Princess Luna, his mind a thousand miles away. She had come to tell the news in person. “Twilight Sparkle was captured and tortured.”

How was he supposed to react to that? What was he supposed to say? What was he supposed to do? No answers were quick to jump to mind.

He vaguely heard the sound of his wife’s voice next to him.

“Is it always going to be like this?” Velvet asked, and Night Light found himself agreeing. Was this what it meant to have a loved one trying to do good? That they would just inevitably bring themselves to danger and harm?

Night Light didn’t like it one bit.

He didn’t even move when Velvet threw her forelegs around him, clinging to him fearfully. He couldn’t stop wondering whether or not one of these days, it would be Celestia herself sitting in his living room telling him that his beautiful little Sparkle was dead.

“It shouldn’t.” Luna’s voice cut through the haze, and Night Light understood the unspoken meaning.

It shouldn’t be, but it is. They can’t do anything to change the galaxy.

Solar One, Armali, Thessia
April 14, 2183

Twilight stirred, leaving Luna’s peaceful domain, only to find herself returning to reality, and the pain that accompanied it. It took her a moment to see past the fog of agony that seemed to ooze from her bones to realize that she wasn’t alone in her bed.

Blinking away the haze, Twilight turned to find that Gilda had ditched her own bed and climbed into hers. At the moment, the griffin was chirping in her sleep, her legs paddling the air in soft, gentle motions.

Even as Twilight giggled to herself, she realized that Gilda’s movement must have woken her.

Leaning over, Twilight tried to lay a kiss on Gildas forehead, but found herself immediately regretting that when her neck burst into pain and she remembered just what had happened to put her in the med-bay.

Wincing and hissing in pain, Twilight gingerly settled herself back into her bed, her eyes screwed shut as she tried to ride out the wave.

The murmuring and groaning from Gilda made her wince. She’d woken the griffin up.

“Huh… blech.” Gilda clacked her beak, stretching her forelegs out and straight into the air before relaxing back into the bed. She turned, looking at Twilight, who was staring at her. They both blinked at the same moment. “Oh, you’re awake.”

“Don’t sound so excited about it.” Twilight was surprised for a moment at how weak and scratchy her voice sounded. She did her best to ignore it, not wanting to think on its reason.

“You should be sleeping.” Gilda’s voice was almost a whisper, and Twilight appreciated it. The headache that was slowly making itself known was in no mood for loud noises.

“I’ve been sleeping for…” Twilight lifted her hoof to check her omni-tool, only to find that the little device wasn’t there. Binking, she found that it was sitting on the doctor’s desk a few feet away, but in her current situation, that was practically an insurmountable distance.

Instead, she turned her attention to the small holo-clock hung above the doctor’s desk. 10:00 am, April 14. She’d been asleep for practically two whole days!

“Oh,” was all she found she could say.

“Yeah.” Gilda giggled, nuzzling Twilight as gently as she possibly could, so as not to hurt her marefriend. “Oh.”

“Where…” Twilight’s brain sluggishly tried to catch up on her situation, to little success. Everything just felt so fuzzy. “What's been happening?”

“We're still on Thessia,” Gilda patiently explained. Tiny Berry had explained to her some of the potential side effects Twilight could possibly go through after having so much trauma to her head, and a little confusion was the least of things. “Celestia left yesterday.”

“Oh.” Twilight's face fell in disappointment. Despite the circumstances, she wished she'd been able to spend more time with Celestia. Seeing her for only a few minutes while conscious hadn’t been what she’d call quality time. The Princess was a busy pony though, and she completely understood why she couldn’t spend days on Thessia just waiting by Twilight’s bed until she got better. She had an entire planet to run after all.

“She left a letter for you, for when you woke up.” Turning. Gilda reached over to the small bedside table, wincing as she jostled her chest, but ignoring it as best she could as she passed a tightly wrapped scroll for Twilight to read.
Breaking the seal and unwrapping, Twilight started to read.

Dear Twilight,

It is unfortunate that you will not come back with me to Equestria, where I can protect you with everything at my disposal, but I respect your wishes. I regret that I must leave before you wake again, but I am sure that you are in the best hooves possible.

When I gave you your mission to find the Elements of Harmony, I had no idea that it would bring you to such danger. The galaxy is a dark place, both you and I know that, but I never expected that the darkness would ever touch you.

I beg you Twilight, please take every precaution necessary to protect yourself, Gilda, and everypony aboard. Let the ship explode, if that's what you must do, but please, come back to me alive. No cost is too high for your safe return.

Do whatever it takes to stay safe.

Your loving teacher and friend,


P.S. I have decided to allow both Maud Pie and Pinkie Pie to stay with you, if that's what you so choose. The ultimate decision is up to you, but Maud Pie and I have come to an... understanding.

It appears that Pinkie Pie is completely innocent in this matter. You are free to do what you will. I will not blame you if you do not wish to keep her around.

Twilight set the letter down on the bed, contemplative.

Next to her, Gilda waited for Twilight to speak. She hadn't had a chance to read the letter yet, and she had no idea what Princess Celestia had left for Twilight.

After seeing Twilight's nod of permission, Gilda picked up the letter and started to read. She had to quietly sound out some of the words as she went, but Twilight was proud to note that she was getting better at reading.

It took her nearly five minutes, but when she finished, she turned her attention back to Twilight. “What are you going to do?”

“I don't know,” Twilight answered with a shrug. What was she supposed to do. None of her books ever prepared her for this.

Carmel Breeze loved her job. It wasn’t often that a pony like her managed to work not only for the Princess, but by the very nature of what she did, have quality time with her herd every day, whenever she wanted. She had fed some of the most important beings in the galaxy, but she was starting to wonder if she wouldn’t be most proud of her time spent working for Twilight. That mare was doing something important, and she had a feeling these would be the days she would tell her grand foals about… when she and Honey Dawn ever got around to having foals of their own that is.

Humming happily to herself, she hopped into her kitchen, pausing, but not surprised when she found Pinkie Pie at the center island, slowly mixing together batter in a bowl.

“Hello!” Carmel chirped out. She hadn’t had a chance to meet the earth pony yet, but she had heard how she had been betrayed by her entire family. She couldn’t imagine how she’d act if her herd betrayed her.

Pinkie Pie glanced back at Carmel Breeze, but didn't give much of a reaction other than a weak smile. “Hello.” She turned back to her mixing.

Carmel Breeze hopped up next to her, having to grab her stool to get up to the level to see what Pinkie was doing. “Cupcakes or regular cake?”

“Hmm?” Pinkie Pie blinked, looking at Carmel Breeze like she was seeing her for the first time. There wasn’t even a hint of understanding in her eyes.

“You're either making cupcakes or a big ol' fluffy cake.” Undeterred, Carmel smiled at Pinkie. “Which is it?”

“Oh.” Pinkie slowed her mixing to almost a glacial pace. “A cake.”

“What type?” Carmel Breeze loved cake, and she loved baking cake even more. From the looks of it, Pinkie was either making red velvet, or cherry.

Pinkie Pie looked at Carmel Breeze, just staring at her for a long moment. Carmel Breeze stared right back, smiling, paying no mind to how others would feel uncomfortable under Pinkie’s gaze.

“I want to be alone right now.” Pinkie finally said, her voice flat.

“No you don't!” Carmel shook her head.

“Yes I do.” Pinkie Pie stared at Carmel like she was crazy. It wasn’t the first time that Carmel had ever gotten such a look, and as such, she was used to it.

“Nuh uh.” Carmel shook her head.

“Uh huh.” Pinkie refuted, putting a little growl into her voice.

“No you don't.” Tilting her head to the side, Carmel squinted at Pinkie. “Why are you lying?”

“I’m not…” Pinkie didn’t even have the energy to protest, and she ducked her head, stopping her stirring. She sighed, scuffing a hoof against the floor. “It's... Uh... I…”

She scowled, unable to spit out what she actually wanted to say. It obviously frustrated her, and she couldn’t find the right words.

Her mouth opening and closing a few times, Pinkie finally managed to say, “I don't know who I am anymore.”

“You don't?” Carmel scrunched up her muzzle in confusion. “You're Pinkie Pie. Did you get a concussion? Memory loss is a bad sign. Do you need to see a doctor?”

“That's not…” Pinkie sighed, frustrated. “No, I don't have a concussion.”

“Oh.” Carmel Breeze frowned, confused. “Why don't you know who you are then?”

“I know that I'm Pinkamena Diane Pie.” Pinkie’s ears folded back against her head, and she sighed. “I don't what that even means anymore though. Everything about my life so far has been a lie. My family is a…” She struggled to find the right words. “They're awful, horrible, despicable ponies. They've ruined who knows how many lives, and they used me to make sure they could do it all in secret.”

“That does sound pretty awful.” Carmel agreed, nodding her head. “But why does that mean you don't know who you are?”

“It just... It…” Scowling, Pinkie crossed her forelegs. “It just does.”

“What's your favorite food?” Carmel asked.

Blinking, Pinkie tried to catch up with the sudden change in conversation. “... Cupcakes.”

“What's your favorite thing to do?” Grinning, Carmel waited for Pinkie to answer.

“To bring a smile to somepony's face.” Pinkie squinted at Carmel.

“It sounds like you know who you are. I think you're real problem is that you don't know who anyone else is.”

Pinkie Pie didn't look at all convinced.

“It's a pretty big distinction.” Carmel explained, speaking clearly, making sure that Pinkie wouldn’t miss a single word. “It means that you can be sure of yourself. Not trusting yourself is a bad, bad thing. It makes you miserable, and that's bad for a pony who likes to make smiles.”

“But what am I supposed to do now?” Pinkie sounded lost, and Carmel’s heart went out to her.

“Twilight came to speak with you. She wants you on her mission. It seems like a pretty clear plan going forward. If I were you, I'd certainly thank Celestia that a path had laid itself out so cleanly.” Carmel did have the tendency to see through to the heart of the matter in her herd. It extended to other ponies too, apparently.

“Huh…” Pinkie had to actually think about that.

The kitchen doors opened, surprising both Pinkie and Carmel, and Honey Dawn walked in. Carmel and Honey Dawn shared a quick smile, but Pinkie Pie straightened when she saw her, nervous.

“The Emissary wants to speak with you,” Honey Dawn said to Pinkie.

“I'll finish up your cake, Pinkie.” Carmel assured her. “Go figure out your future. It'll be done when you get back.”

It was obvious that Pinkie Pie didn't want to go, but she didn't have a choice. Hooves heavy, she followed Honey Dawn out of the kitchen.

When she had decided to join Twilight on her mission, Rarity had thought it would be a nice chance to see the galaxy, meeting with the most important people across the galaxy. Instead, all she and her sister had gotten was a good dose of trauma and a reminder of that night so long ago in Ponyville.

Sitting on her bed in her cabin, Rarity idly flipped through an asari fashion magazine she’d picked up the other day, keeping half an eye on Spike and Sweetie Belle at the foot of her bed. They both had their attention glued on the holo-screen across from the bed, showing the latest big blockbuster movie (though which one, Rarity couldn’t even begin to guess).

Rarity harrumphed, keeping her vision firmly planted on the door, letting go of any pretense of pretending to read her magazine. She couldn’t be reading when she knew that just a few yards away, that awful Maud Pie was sitting in her locked room, waiting for Twilight to decide her fate onboard Solar One.

She would never let her guard down, especially not when she had her little sister to protect. She wouldn’t let her be taken again.

Never again.

Rarity shut her magazine with a huff, unable to read, and leapt gracefully off the bed. She instead sat down between Spike and Sweetie Belle. It was best not to dwell on such awful matters.

“What did you say this movie was called, Sweetie Belle?” Rarity asked after a moment, staring at the screen as a rather buxom asari pulled an oversized rifle from somewhere she really didn’t want to question.

“It’s….” Sweetie Belle scrunched up her muzzle, realizing she didn’t have a clue about what they were watching. She blushed when she realized that she hadn’t been paying attention to anything for the last hour, looking up at her older sister, shrugging. “I don’t know.”

“Oh.” Rarity frowned, looking at Spike. “Spike? Do you know?”

Rarity found that Spike was looking off into the distance with a thousand yard stare, and she sighed. Turning on her omni-tool, she shut off the holo-screen.

“Spike.” Rarity reached out and put a hoof on Spike’s shoulder, and the little dragon snapped out of it, focusing on her.

“Huh?” He blinked in confusion.

“You weren't watching the movie, were you?” Rarity asked.

“Uh…” Spike shook his head “No.”

“Are you two alright?” Rarity nodded in understanding.

Rarity took a step back so she could see them both, chewing her lip carefully. She didn’t know why she hadn’t realized it sooner. All three of them were in shock.

Spike and Sweetie Belle don't say anything, both of them staring down at the ground. In trying to protect them physically, Rarity realized that she’d forgotten that all three of them endured a lot mental trauma as well from their experience.

Sweetie Belle was the first to break, tears falling down her muzzle as she burst out crying. She lunged at Rarity, who caught her with ease, cradling her against her barrel comfortingly.

“It's alright, Sweetie Belle,” Rarity murmured softly. “You're safe here. Nopony is going to hurt you. I'll make sure of that.”

Looking over, she saw Spike was still sitting there, stubbornly refusing to look at either of them.

Holding out one of her forelegs, Rarity gestured for him to come join them.

Spike paused, the muscles in his jaw tensing, before he reluctantly, he did so. Rarity caught him with ease, and he leaned into Rarity's side. She could feel his breath coming in hitching gulps. Whispering quiet words of comfort, she soothingly rubbed his back with her hoof, murmuring to both Sweetie and Spike. “It's alright. Twilight and Gilda will be fine. We're all safe. Nothing will hurt us.”

Rarity wasn't so sure of that, but she would never let them know that.

Maud Pie was still on the ship, after all.

Pushing that thought from her mind, they all grieved for the loss of their innocence.

Twilight and Gilda both turned from their quiet conversation as the door to the med bay opened and Honey Dawn walked in, followed by a morose Pinkie Pie. Both Twilight and Gilda couldn’t help but think that there was something wrong with that look on her, but neither would ever voice the thought.

“Honey Dawn!” Twilight greeted the Wonderbolt with a smile. “Could you chart a course to Earth, please. Time waits for no mare, and please, take us out as soon as you’re finished.”

“Yes, Twilight,” Honey Dawn said, not bothering to tease her by calling her ma’am. With a quick nod, she turned and left the room.

The door shut closed with an ominous finality.

Pinkie Pie didn't so much as flinch. She stood on straight, unshaking legs, staring at Twilight with sad eyes. It didn’t help that when she looked at Twilight, she saw the truth of her family's betrayal.

Twilight was practically bandaged from muzzle to hoof, with only a few sparse spots of her violet coat poking through. Some of the bandages were just starting to soak through, and they’d probably need to be changed in an hour or so. Congealing blood was still leaking, and Pinkie wondered whether Kai Leng had used something… extra… when he’d tortured her. Whatever Kai Leng used, it had made it particularly difficult to close all of her wounds. It was going to take some time, and a lot of patience until Twilight was back to one-hundred percent.

“Come closer, Pinkie,” Twilight said, breaking the spell on Pinkie.

Pinkie obligingly stepped closer. She ignored Gilda, who was staring at her with hawk eyes, watching every movement carefully. The griffins muscles were primed, and she was definitely ready to leap into action at a moment's notice to protect Twilight, no matter how bad her own injuries were.

Pinkie could appreciate that kind of loyalty.

She wished someone had that kind of loyalty for her.

No one did. There was no one that she could trust, her own family had proved that to her with their actions.

Even during that revelation, she never broke free from Twilight's gaze.

“You really knew nothing.” Twilight didn’t ask. She’d already realized it for herself.

Pinkie Pie didn't say a word, instead, she just stared down at the floor.

“That is…” Twilight’s mouth gaped for a moment, and she sighed. “That’s awful.”

“What are you going to do with me?” Pinkie asked, ignoring Twilight’s pity.

“I don't know.” It was a struggle for Twilight to say what she wanted to say next, for more reasons than one. Twilight was afraid, and she didn't ever want to get hurt like that again. “You're dangerous to be around. Your family…”

“I know.” Pinkie bowed her head, accepting. “I'll pack my stuff, and Maud and I'll leave as soon as I'm done. I'm sorry. None of this... This wasn't supposed to happen.”

“I wasn't saying I was kicking you off my ship.” Twilight practically shouted, panicked.

“Then what?” Pinkie asked, a little surprised at Twilight’s level of adamance.

“What else did you miss?” Twilight asked, shifting the conversation. “How could you never even suspect?”

“There weren't any clues.” There really weren’t. Her family was kind, and loving, and they always smiled. They had been like that ever since Pinkie had discovered her cutie mark back on the rock farm. “It was all parties, and smiles, and Smile, and then, this. I thought we were doing good. I was just too stupid to see that we were evil the entire time. I won't make that mistake again.”

“What about your sister?” Twilight asked. Pinkie didn’t bother telling her that she had three sisters.

“She won't leave.” Pinkie instead informed Twilight.

“What do you want to do with her then?”

Pinkie was silent for a long moment, before she just shrugged. “Do what you want. I don’t care.”

Pinkie and Twilight stare at each other for a little longer, before Twilight just nodded.

“Okay. Go talk to Tiny Berry. She'll get you a room, and you can stay there.”

“Are we done?” Pinkie asked, feeling tired.


Before Twilight could even say anything else, Pinkie turned around and walked out of the room. The door shut behind her with a loud click.

“Are you sure that's a good idea?” Gilda asked as soon as she was gone.

“I don't know.” Twilight shrugged, burrowing deeper into her bed. “It's what I need to do, but no, I don't know if it's a good idea.”

“There seems to be a lot of that going around.”

“Yeah.” Shutting her eyes, Twilight nuzzled into her marefriend’s side and tried to get back to sleep.

Honey Dawn, Little Hoof, and Fancy Steps sat at their chairs on the bridge of Solar One, prepping the ship for its journey to Earth. It was promising to be an easy flight, which was best, considering what they had just gone through.

None of them were talking, the events on Thessia striking home to show just how dangerous this mission was shaping up to be.

The flight path had already been prepared, and they'd received the green light from Thessia's flight control nearly as soon as they’d placed it. Starting the engines, they began the launch checklist.

Time to leave.

Pinkie Pie sat on her bed as the ship started to rumble ever so slightly. They were leaving Thessia, and she couldn’t say that she wasn’t glad.

Talking to Tiny Berry had resulted in her getting a room on the lowest deck, under the engine core. She'd been given one of the smaller, less opulent rooms on Solar One, designed for the aides of foreign dignitaries. Not much luxury there.

Pinkie found herself glad about that, even though she knew Tiny Berry was trying to snub her. She didn’t deserve luxury, not after what her family had done.

Even as they were taking off, Pinkie’s omni-tool chimed, and she saw that she had a new message waiting for her.

She opened it, and found a letter waiting for her.

Dear Pinkamena,

I am sorry that we had to part under such difficult times.

I have transferred complete ownership of Smile Incorporated to you.

Your Father

Pinkie's omni-tool chimed again, and she looked, and sure enough, she found every single one of the shares out there, and she outright owned Smile Inc. and all of its several million credits worth of assets.

With a few more presses of her omni-tool, she put it all up for sale.

Author's Note:

Hey look! A new chapter!

Surprisingly, I'm getting this out in a reasonable amount of time despite the fact Fallout 4 just came out. Strange...

As always, leave a comment below, and a like!

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