• Published 26th Feb 2015
  • 505 Views, 8 Comments

The Voyage of the Mareitania - Harms Way

The EMS Mareitania, Equestria's newest and biggest ocean liner, sets off on her maiden voyage across the Equestrian Ocean. But unfortunately for all aboard, things may not go as expected.

  • ...

Chapter Four

With nothing but open ocean out in front of them, Mareitania was soon brought up to her cruising speed of 24 knots. As the wind blew across his face, Steel stood on the starboard bridge wing with both Port and Dotted alongside him. All three ponies were smiling with pride as their ship sliced through the water.

"Well. I'd say that was a pretty smooth start to this voyage." Dotted said before patting Steel on the back. "Excellent work."

"Thank you, sir." He replied before turning to look at his boss who just smiled at him. "I'm glad that you're happy with how things are going."

"Why wouldn't I be?" He asked. "We're on the largest, fastest, and most luxurious ocean liner in all of Equestria. I can tell that leaving her under your command will be a decision that I won't regret."

"I'm sure it won't be either, sir." Port replied before giving Steel a playful nudge. "He'll be fine. Especially when he's got me here as well."

"Splendid." Dotted replied. He then turned around and proceeded to walk toward the stairs leading down to the boat deck. "Now if you'll excuse me, I shall go and see how our guests are enjoying things thus far. Keep up the good work, you two."

"Yes sir." Both Steel and Port said simultaneously while saluting their boss. As Dotted disappeared down the steps, both of them turned to look back out at the ocean ahead of them.

"I'm glad to see that we've attracted quite the list of passengers." Port said as he leaned up on the railing. "The Princess of the Sun, the Princess of Friendship, and the rest of the bearers of the Elements of Harmony. That alone will only add to the spectacle of our first voyage."

"I suppose." Steel replied. Hearing this, Port looked at his friend with a raised eyebrow. Surely Steel should've been excited about having such famed passengers on his ship. But from the tone in his voice, he wasn't happy at all.

"Something on your mind, Cap?" He asked.

"It's nothing."

"Doesn't sound like nothing to me." He replied. "Come on. Say what's on your mind."

"I'm..... just a bit confused. That's all."

"About what?"

"Give me a second." Steel replied before walking onto the bridge and entering his cabin. A minute passed before he emerged with the newspaper he had read earlier. "Take a look at the article on the second page." He said before giving Port the paper. Once secured in his magical grip, Port opened the paper and looked at the article Steel had mentioned.

"Huh." He said as he read what was printed. "That does seem a bit odd." He then folded the paper before looking at the date at the top of the front page. "But then again, this paper was printed yesterday. Maybe they changed their minds and quickly rushed up to Manehattan from Mareami to join us."

"Maybe." Steel replied.

"Well the only other explanation is that they're changelings. And that can't be true because the detectors would've gone off when they passed through."

"Yeah. I suppose you're right." Steel replied. "Maybe I'm just worrying over nothing. This whole experience has been stressing me out beyond anything else. Including the academy."

"Hey." Port said before putting a hoof on Steel's back. "I get that you're under a ton of pressure right now. I'm sure I'd be doing the same thing if I was in your position. But I just want you to know that if you ever need help or wanna talk to somepony about anything on your mind, I'm here for you."

"Thanks Port." He replied before sighing slightly. "That means a lot to me right now."

"Anytime Cap." Port said before the two looked back out at the ocean ahead of them.

As the hours passed by, the smoother things became for everypony on board. The ship was on course and at full cruising speed. No mechanical problems had been reported. And supper time was rapidly approaching as the sun started to dip beneath the horizon behind them. Choosing to take advantage of the calm, Steel decided to do something productive and was busy polishing the steel of his sword in his cabin. The metal shined brightly in the light of the lamp on his nightstand, making him smile with pride before putting it back in the scabbard and securing the strap around his body.

"There you go." He said to himself before three knocks on his cabin door made him look toward it. "Enter." He called out, prompting the pony on the other side to open it. Once open, Steel saw Dotted looking happier than he normally was. "Ah. Hello Dotted. Is there anything you need?"

"I was just wondering if I could speak with you for a moment." He replied before stepping in and closing the door behind him.

"Of course." Steel said before sitting down at the small table by his window. Dotted sat down in the other seat and was about to say something before the sound of his stomach growling cut him off. "Hungry sir?" He asked before chuckling slightly.

"Yes. As a matter of fact, I am." He replied. "But I was hoping to ask you what your plans for dinner were."

"I was thinking about just having something brought up here." Steel replied. "That way if I'm needed on the bridge, I wouldn't be far."

"Nonsense." Dotted replied. "You can't just sit in here throughout the entire voyage. Another part of being Captain is being social with your passengers."

"I uh...."

"Which is why I would like for you to join me, Princess Celestia, Princess Twilight, and the rest of her friends for dinner." This made Steel's pupils shrink once he heard what Dotted said. "We'll be having carrot dogs, hayburgers, and for dessert, we'll be having delicious chocolate cake."

"Huh. I was expecting something fancier."

"Well for the first dinner of the maiden voyage, I think that this was a good choice." He replied. "Simple, easy and quick to make, and it would remind anypony of home."

"Well when you put it like that, I guess it makes sense." Steel said before his own stomach growled. He then sighed before looking back up at Dotted. "But eating dinner with Celestia, Twilight, and her friends makes me feel nervous. What if I say something inappropriate? What if something happens and I have to come back up here?"

"I'm sure Port can handle things for a few hours while we dine."

Steel breathed in heavily and slowly exhaled. "Alright." He said before a smile appeared on Dotted's face. "Let's get going then, shall we?"

"Yes." The white unicorn replied. "I'm quite famished." With that said, the two ponies got out of their chairs and exited the small cabin. Once on the bridge, Steel looked over at the pony at the helm. A dark blue colored earth pony with a black mane.

"What is your name, sailor?" He asked, gaining the pony's attention.

"Huh?" He asked. "Oh! Uh... My name is North Star, Captain."

"Well then, North." Steel replied. "Mr. Line and I will be away from the bridge for a few hours. First Officer Port Side will be in charge until I get back. Understood?"

"Y-Yes sir." North quickly replied.

"Excellent." He replied before giving the pony a quick salute. Once done, he and Dotted stepped out onto the bridge wing where Port was standing. "Port." He said, gaining the green unicorn's attention. "You're in charge until I get back from dinner."

"Aye Captain." He replied as Steel and Dotted made their way down the small staircase to the boat deck. While they walked along the deck, Steel looked up and was amazed by how beautiful the stars looked in the night sky.

"Pretty calm night. Wouldn't you agree, Steel?" Dotted asked, making Steel look at him.

"Yeah." He replied. "The stars are beautiful right now."

"I'd think that it's a good sign for things to come." He said as the two turned and walked inside. Once in, Steel noticed many ponies conversing with one another over different topics. But once their eyes saw him, they'd turn and smile before giving him a small wave. Steel just smiled back and waved in response. Once he and Dotted walked by and were away from the groups, he sighed slightly and looked a bit down toward the floor.

"I never had to socialize with the passengers back when I was on the Celestia." He thought as they approached an elevator. "This is gonna be a lot harder than I thought."

The dining hall was filled with many ponies as they conversed about various topics. Everywhere you looked, there were ponies sitting at tables, giving their food orders to their waiters, and sipping their drinks. At the 'Captain's Table', Steel sat between Dotted and Princess Celestia. The look on his face was one of discomfort as his eyes looked back and forth across the room at all of the ponies. Every now and then, he'd take a sip of his tea before looking over at Twilight and her friends. They were chatting among themselves just like everypony else was doing.

"Maybe Port was right." He thought while looking at them. "Maybe I am just imagining things." After thinking that, he looked down and saw that the food on their plates were left untouched. "Are they not hungry or something?" He thought just as the sound of something being hit against a glass repeatedly made him look over to find Dotted propped up on the table with his fork tapping against his glass.

"May I have everypony's attention please?" He called out. Soon after saying that, the room became silent as each pony turned to look at him. "Greetings everypony. My name is Dotted Line. I am the Chairpony for the Red Apple Line. Firstly, I would like to express my thanks to each and every one of you for joining us on this historic voyage. I have had the pleasure of seeing many fantastic ships cross this ocean. But this crossing by far will most likely be the most memorable one. And I have each and every one of you to thank for it." After saying that, the ponies in the room cheered and hollered. "And now." He continued after the crowd quieted down. "I would like to introduce you all to the pony who is in command of this luxurious liner. He is one of the Equestrian Merchant Marine Academy's best graduates and we at the Red Apple Line are proud to have him. Fillies and gentlecolts. I give you Captain Steel Blade!"

The room once again became filled with applause as Dotted motioned for him to stand up. With a sheepish smile on his face, Steel did as instructed and stood up before propping himself on the table as Dotted sat back down in his chair.

"Thank you." He said over the roar of the crowd. "Thank you. You all are too kind."

"Speech!" A pony called out from the crowd. Soon enough, several ponies were chanting the same thing.

"Speech! Speech! Speech!"

Steel kept his sheepish grin shown as the ponies in the room kept repeating themselves over and over. He knew that the only way out was to do something he never liked doing. That of course being made to speak in front of large crowds. He looked down toward his plate, closed his eyes, and breathed in deeply before sighing heavily, making sure not to groan as that would send the wrong message.

"Alright. Alright." He replied after looking back up toward the ponies in front of him, earning another cheer from the room. Once the room went quiet again, he cleared his throat while looking out at the crowd. "Well. As Dotted Line said before. Thank you all for joining us on this maiden voyage. This is actually my first crossing as a Captain. But I promise to do the best I possibly can to ensure a smooth voyage." He then turned toward Celestia and Twilight. "And I would especially like to thank Princess Celestia, Princess Twilight, and the rest of her friends for joining us on this voyage as well. I'm sure you all were in quite the rush to get up to Manehattan from Mareami to be with us on this crossing."

"Huh? Oh! Y-Yes!" Twilight quickly replied. "We certainly didn't want to miss this special event." Once again, Steel found himself surprised by how she responded. The rest of her friends quickly nodded their heads in agreement. Steel looked at all of them as they smiled at him before looking toward Princess Celestia. She just seemed to be calm and relaxed as she sipped some of her tea.

"Anyways." He continued before looking back out to the crowd. "Right now, we are currently travelling at a speed of 24 knots. With that said, I'm proud to announce that we are not just on the largest ship in all of Equestria. We're also on the fastest as well." The room erupted in cheers once again, cutting off what Steel was going to say. Instead of continuing to speak, he waited until they became silent once more. "At this speed, we should be arriving in Mareseilles in roughly four to five days. I hope that each of you enjoy yourselves until then. And thank you all once more for being a part of this historic voyage." After saying that, he sat back down as the room gave one more round of applause before going back to their respective conversations.

"That was a very excellent speech, Captain." The calming voice of Princess Celestia said. This made Steel's pupils shrink as soon as he heard that as he turned to find the ruler of all of Equestria looking at him with a warm smile.

"I-It was?"

"Yes." She replied. "I have a feeling that you will be a fine leader."

"T-Thank you, Princess." He stuttered in response, visibly surprised by what she said. "Coming from you, that means a lot to me."

"You're welcome." She replies as the doors leading into the kitchen open to reveal many unicorn waiters carrying plates of chocolate cake in their respective magical grips.

"Ah. Good." Steel said as the ponies began distributing the plates to each table in the room. "It's time for dessert." He then turned to look at Twilight's friend, Pinkie Pie. "I hope you enjoy this dessert, Pinkie Pie." He said. "I know how much you love cake."

"Y-Yes I do." She replied just as a plate was placed in front of her. "I just love eating cake."

"Well then enjoy." Steel said before the rest of his table were given plates of chocolate cake. As he began eating, he made sure to glance over toward Pinkie as she looked at the cake. Soon, she leaned forward and took a bite out of the cake. He looked on as she chewed it for a few seconds before swallowing. After that, a smile formed on her face until her whole face turned green. "What the buck?" He thought just as Pinkie raced out of the room.

This predictably made a few ponies scream while others spat out their cake.

"The chef's trying to poison our protectors!" One of them cried out as Twilight and the rest of her friends rushed out of the room in the same direction that Pinkie Pie did.

"Calm down, everypony." Dotted called out. "Please. Remain calm." He then stood up and walked over toward the door leading into the kitchen. "I will have a word with the chef. Just please. Remain calm. There's no need to panic." With that said, he opened the door and walked in. As he did this, Steel looked down at his slice of cake. It was absolutely delicious. Probably one of the best slices of cake he ever had. He then looked over at Princess Celestia who hadn't touched her slice of cake yet.

"I'm so sorry about this, Princess." He said. "I'm sure that there's some explanation for this."

"I'm sure there is as well." She replied before getting up. "If you'll excuse me. I'm going to go check on how Pinkie Pie is doing."

"Of course." He said as she walked away. After she disappeared through the doors leading out of the dining room, Steel got up and walked over to where Pinkie's plate was. He then used his magic to pick up a fork before taking a chunk out of the uneaten portion of the cake. After examining it closely, he put it in his mouth. Much to his surprise, it tasted exactly like his slice. "There's nothing wrong with the cake." He thought as he chewed and swallowed before looking to see that the crowd was watching him.

"Captain?" One of them asked. "Are you alright?"

"Yes." He replied. "I'm perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with the cake at all."

"B-But then why would that pony have a reaction like that?"

"I'm not sure." He said. "But I can assure you that the cake is not poisoned. Please. Continue on with your meal." After saying that, he heard multiple sighs of relief. "I better go see how Dotted and the chef are doing." He thought before he started making his way toward the kitchen. With each step he took, he could hear pans falling to the floor, plates shattering, and the distinct sound of the chef arguing with Dotted. Stopping just outside the door, Steel breathed heavily before gently pushing the door open. "Uh... hello?" He asked while poking his head into the room to find Dotted in front of him arguing with the head chef.

"How dare you accuse me of trying to poison somepony!" The chef yelled. "You insult my honor and integrity as a chef!"

"Well how else do you explain her having that kind of reaction?" Dotted yelled back.

"Uh... guys?" Steel said just as the chef picked up a pan that contained a whole cake covered in chocolate frosting.

"Would you like to try some for yourself?" The chef asked. "Here!" After saying that, he immediately threw the pan in Dotted's direction. But the white unicorn ducked out of the way, allowing the cake pan to smack Steel directly in the face. The sound of Dotted gasping was soon heard as the pan slid down his face until the edge of it caught the tip of his horn.

"Steel!" Dotted said before using his magic to get the pan off of his friend's face. "Are you alright?"

"I'm.... fine." Steel grunted in response before his eyes opened up and glared at the chef who threw the pan.

"Captain Blade!" The chef said. "I'm so sorry! I did not intend to hit you with that pan."

"What's your name, chef?"

"Michelin." He replied.

"Well then. Chef Michelin." He said. "I wanted you to know that your cake is not at fault for what happened."

"See?!" Michelin called out as he looked toward Dotted. "I told you it wasn't my cooking!"

"Then what could've caused Ms. Pinkie Pie to have such a reaction?"

"I'm not sure." Steel replied. "But I tried some of her cake. It was exactly like mine."

"I see." He said before turning back toward Michelin. "Well. It would seem as though I owe you an apology then, Chef. I'm terribly sorry for accusing you."

"Apology accepted." Michelin replied. "Now if you don't mind. I have a mess to clean up."

"Indeed." Dotted said before turning to look at Steel. "Well. I suppose we should be on our way then."

"Agreed." He replied before grabbing a rag and wiping off the remnants of the chocolate cake on his face. "If you need me, I'll be on the bridge."


"If you would like, Captain." Michelin said as he started to pick up the pans on the floor. "Allow me to bring you some freshly made tea as a token of apology for what happened."

"Sounds good." Steel replied before turning and walking out the door with Dotted close behind.

"Well..." He said. "I certainly hope that this unfortunate incident doesn't paint the company in a bad light."

"I'm sure it won't, Dotted." Steel replied as the two ponies got onto an elevator to go up to the boat deck. But as the elevator began to go up, Steel couldn't stop thinking about what would cause a pony to react the way Pinkie Pie did to eating a piece of chocolate cake.

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