• Published 23rd Feb 2015
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Daughters of the Sea - Mister E

Summergale. Former Captain of the Maiden’s Fancy. Former Queen of Equestria. Mother of Harmony and Discord. Saved from certain death by Twilight Sparkle and her husband, the Doctor, she must now make a new life for herself in modern day Equestria.

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Chapter Three: Discord Sails into Dangerous Waters

Chapter Three
Discord sails into dangerous waters...

The trio moved down to the last empty berth on the docks.

“Alright mom, let’s get this over with.” Discord snaps his claw, and before them is an exact duplicate of the Maiden’s Fancy.

“By the sky stallion! Is it real?” Summergale asks her son.

“Well, it isn’t the original, that one had rotted away hundreds of thousands of years ago, but it is an exact replica.” Discord says with pride.

Summergale looks longingly at the ship before her, as the voices of the past set her adrift on the seas of memory. Finally she takes a deep breath and turns to her son. “Get rid of it.”

“What?” he says in shock.

“Son, get rid of it. It isn’t the same ship. And even if it were, it would have too many ghosts fer me ta sail her proper. I’m making a new start in a new world, an I don’t need ta be weighed down by the chains of the past. Please son, get rid of it.” She says, not looking at the ship anymore.

With a snap of his claw the ship is gone. “All right mom, then what kind of ship do you want?” Discord asks, as he began to snap his claw in rapid succession. “Schooner, xebec, galleon, cutter, frigate...”

“No son,” Summergale says shaking her head, “are ye daft? a galleon’s too big, a schooner isn’t built for cargo, and we aren’t going to war, so I don’t need a friggin frigate!”

“Fine, Discord replies. “Cutter, barquintine, corvette,(something lands in the water with a splash and promptly sinks), oops wrong corvette, windjammer, trimaran...” Discord continues causing ships to appear and disappear.

Meanwhile Summergale had stopped watching, and had been gazing out to sea thoughtfully.

“Son, I want a fluyt.” she says interrupting his diatribe. Without missing a beat a small musical instrument appears in her hoof. “Oh, har de har har... Ye know perfectly well what I mean!” She says, bouncing the instrument off of his head.

“Ow mom, that wasn’t a dodge ball! Fine, here’s your fluyt.” He says, snapping his claw once more.

“Now we’re talking,” Summergale says as she leads the three up the gangplank. “This here Fluttershy, is what was known as a fluyt.” Summergale says, expounding on the vessel they are standing on. “The standard fluyt design minimized or completely eliminated its armaments ta maximize available cargo space, an used block and tackle, ta facilitate ship operations. Ye’ll note that she’s pear shaped (when viewed from the fore or aft), so she has a shallow draft which allows us to bring cargo in and out of ports and down rivers that other vessels can’t reach. This ship class was credited in enhancing pony competitiveness in international trade, an was widely employed by the ponies of Sorraia.”

“So this is the type of merchant ships they used back in your day?” Fluttershy asks.

“Aye,” Summergale says with a smile. “Most of me chief competition were sailing on ships like this. The design of fluyts was largely similar ta that of the early galleons. These ships typically weigh 200-300 tons and are approximately 80 hooves in length. She has a large cargo bay near the waterline and a relatively narrow deck above. In part, this design was a method used ta avoid the high taxes collected by Sorraia, which was assessed based on the area o’ the main deck. Ye will note that she’s square rigged with two masts. Masts on a fluyt are much higher than those of galleons, which allow for greater speed. Hah, nothin them griffins have nowadays could keep up with one of these.” She says lightly stroking the mast.

“So I take it we’re done here? And we can go back home now?” Discord says preparing to snap his claw.

“Now hold yer water son, we ain’t even gotten started yet.” Summergale says as she walks the deck. “Aye, she’s a fine lookin ship, but she’s going ta need a few tiny things before we can take her out ta sea.”

“A few ‘tiny’ things?” Discord says lowering his eyebrows.

“Aye. Just a wee few supplies,” Summergale says, walking around, and listing off things as Discord trails behind her making them appear.

Meanwhile Fluttershy had trotted up to the bow of the ship. The wind blew strongly in her mane as she stared out at the waves. This was the first time she had ever been to the ocean. It was so vast, and the roar was constant in her ears. She felt a strange sense of peace as she stood there, hooves on the rail, the ship gently rocking to the rise and fall of the waves. She had no idea how much time had passed when Summergale and Discord finally returned.

“Well, at least we got the dockage fee all sorted out with the port authority.” Summergale said. “I can’t believe how much they charge nowadays ta berth a ship.”

“Mom, they didn’t charge you ANYTHING.” Discord says in exasperation. “Not after you told them who I am.”

“Aye, that was fun. They couldn’t get us out of there fast enough. Nice of them ta offer ta keep an eye on me ship as well.” She said with a wink. “Wouldn’t want the Lord o’ Chaos ta get mad at ‘em.”

“Mom, I don’t feel comfortable with you playing on my reputation. I’m reformed. Stunts like that aren’t going to help anypony forget my past.” Discord says sullenly.

“Oh aye, I here ya, Mr. ‘I’m a little teapot’...” She says lightly hoofing her son on the shoulder.

“That was different. Fluttershy could have been hurt.” Discord responds defensively.

“I want to go with you.” Fluttershy says, interrupting the two.

“WHAT?!?” They both reply in unison.

“Pleeeease.” Fluttershy begs. “I’ve never been on the ocean before. I’ve never really been anywhere before, except where I’ve had to go with my friends every time we have to ‘save the world’. I’d really like to come along, if that is, you have room for me.” Fluttershy says bowing her head.

Discord draws a deep breath, preparing to protest, but is quickly cut off by Summergale.

“Why of course ye can come!” Summergale says, as she hugs her daughter-in-law and spins her around. “I’d love ta have a chance ta spend more time with me new daughter. Aye, we’ll have a grand adventure! An since you are me first crew member, as captain I officially grant ye the title of first mate. That means Fluttershy, that exceptin fer meself, YOU will be in charge.”

“M-me?” Fluttershy squeaks. “Oh I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know anything about running a ship, or giving orders.”

“No worries my dear. From what I understand, NO pony now-a-days knows anything about running a ship. But I can teach ye everything ya needs ta know. An as fer giving orders, why I’ve seen how ye manage all them critters, especially that white bunny. It’s no harder than that. Just think o’ the ponies ye have ta deal with as bigger versions of squirrels an rabbits. Believe me, they will act the same the first time they have ta ride out a squall.”

“Well,” Fluttershy says, giving it some thought. “I suppose I could try. If you really think I could do a good job.”

“Not a doubt in my mind Flutters. Why, a couple three weeks an you’ll not even need me around.” Summergale says with a broad smile.

Meanwhile Discord has been standing off to himself. He was having a serious internal debate that sooner or later occurs in all male married beings. Finally the ‘she’s my wife, but she’s my mom’ argument settles down in his head and he raises his voice to be heard.

“No,” he says.

“No?” Summergale repeats. “What do ye mean, no?”

“No means no. I’ve gone along with the idea of you going off on some crazy treasure hunt. It’s something you have your mind set on, and I know better than trying to stop you, or simply poofing up the treasure for you here. I’ve made you a ship, and given you all the supplies you have asked for, but I will NOT give you my wife.” Discord says with a glare. “The seas can be dangerous. Fluttershy doesn’t know a thing about being a sailor. Not to mention that you have no idea how much things may have changed. It may be less than a year since YOU last set sail, but it’s been hundreds of thousands of years in our time. The cataclysm caused whole islands to sink and new ones to form. The ocean currents don’t run the same. The weather patterns aren’t the same. NOTHING is the same!” Discord says throwing up his arms in exasperation. “If you want to risk your fool neck then fine, I know better than to try to stop you, but there is no way in Equestria I’m going to allow Fluttershy to go with you.”

For a few moments, the only sound that can be heard is the sound of the ocean. Summergale looks stunned. Never in her life had she had her son stand up to her before. Deep inside, she was filling with pride. However, just as she was about to acquiesce to her son’s demand, Fluttershy spoke up.

“Allow? Your not going to ‘allow’ me to go?” Fluttershy says, her face contorting with rising anger. “Listen here mister. Just because you are my husband, doesn’t mean you get to tell me what I can, and cannot do!” She says jabbing a hoof in Discord’s chest. “I’ve never said a word about you going off to who knows where, throwing around your chaos for the ‘good of Equestria’, or so you say. And it’s not like I ever ask you for anything for myself. (Discord wisely keeps his muzzle shut at this point). Now I FINALLY have somewhere that I want to go, and something that I want to do, and as your wife I would really LIKE to have your love and support. CAN I COUNT ON YOU FOR THAT?!?” Fluttershy says, bearing down on her husband, who has drawn himself into a tight ball on the deck.

“Yes, dear,” he manages to say before backing away.

Fluttershy turns to face Summergale, who’s muzzle is still open in shock. “You just have to know how to talk to him. He really IS a sweetheart.” She says, smiling.

“A-aye. I’m sure yer right...” Summergale says, trying to restart her brain. “Well, if nothin else, I’m more sure than ever that I picked the right pony for me first mate.” She says, as she watches Fluttershy going to comfort the still quivering form of her son. “Well, now that that prickly bit of business is settled, there’s just one more thing that needs ta be done before we head back home.”

“And what’s that?” Discord asks, rising slowly back to his hooves.

“We need ta find ourselves a crew.” Summergale says, trotting over to the rail. She looks for a few moments across the docks, and back to where Giovanni is still singing, his face still contorted with rage. “Well, I suppose we’ll get no help from that quarter. Then again, I’d like, if possible, ta have a pony crew once again. I’d even be willin ta train em from scratch if I could find some that were dependable.” She says, rubbing her muzzle.

“Well,” Fluttershy says, coming up beside her, “What type of ponies do you need? I may know someponies.”

“Well, lets see.” Summergale says turning to face her. “We’ll need a ship's carpenter. Somepony that’s good at fixing things. You’d be surprised how much can break on a wooden ship out ta sea. Then we’ll need a seamstress ta mend the sails, an patch up whatever needs sewing. A good ship's cook would be a blessing. Some pony who knows how ta make good grub from simple ingredients. Oh, and even though we aren’t going to have many on board, we’ll need at least one cannoneer. Ye never want ta go ta sea without at least a few ships cannons. Also, I had been told that certain pegasi know how ta control the weather. I’d be great if we could recruit one of those ta keep the worst of the storms at bay. An it wouldn’t be a bad idea ta have a cabin pony ta do all the scut work, an help out in general. Oh, and I’d like ta see if we could get one o’ them fire senders so we can keep in touch with everypony back home. I reckon that should just about cover it.” Summergale notices Fluttershy and Discord sharing a glance between themselves. “What?” she asks.

“Oh, I think I have the perfect crew in mind.” Discord says with a mischievous grin. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking sweetheart?”

“Yes dear,” Fluttershy responds with a wicked little grin of her own, “for once I think we are in perfect agreement.”