• Published 2nd Jun 2012
  • 1,037 Views, 100 Comments

Shades of Equestria - Typographical Error



It is time for Twilight and her frineds to walk on their new home. But is it all they imagined?

  • ...
1
 100
 1,037

Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Planetfall

With the smallest electric noise, the pneumatic door slid open, spilling light into the dark chamber. He placed his front hoof in, and the lights instantly flicked on. He blinked the glare away, still not used to the pure white, artificial lighting. With a sigh, the stallion removed his uniform, the metals and stars clicking as he threw it on the bed. He stretched slightly, and removed his long mane from his ponytail. Then he walked over and touched a small pad on the wall. With a metal ‘whirr’, a panel slid open, revealing a screen and a keypad. He pressed another screen, and a panel on the floor slid away, only to be replaced with a small chair. He sank down into it, relishing the feeling of relaxation. After a long and stressful day, this was the only time to feel calm. So much had happened in such a small span of time, he really didn’t have much time to think about the future. Only the present.

He sat in the chair for a few moments, thinking of everything they had accomplished in the past few months. A small smile spread onto his lips as he thought of what it all meant, for them and for the rest of pony-kind. Almost absentmindedly, he reached forward and touched the screen. It registered the unique grooves and swirls on the bottom of his hoof. Every pony had to have that procedure. A small laser etched a design into the hoof, staying with them for life. That would be their identification for the rest of their life. The design said what levels and areas they could access, and which ones they could not.

A small green line ran up and down the hoof, reading and storing the information. At the same time, an electric current ran through his body, freezing him in place. This had happened several times before, but he was still not used to it. The feeling of his muscles spasming, then freezing was still unnerving. A small beep rang out, and the green light faded. He pulled his hoof away, and waited for the next step. They had just got the system online, so that that the first time, and the last, he would ever need to do it.

Name and rank.” a cool, female voice said through a speaker on the wall.

“Moonfire, Commander” the stallion said, hating the words coming out of his mouth. He hated the rank. Even this far from Equestria, they were still being singled out and separated from one another with titles.

Name and rank accepted.” The voice said. The screen flickered black, then glowed a cool blue. Several icons blinked to life, lining the right side of the screen. Several he knew from the mainframe that was built in the main lab. A program that tracked all the ponies, another that showed the weather patterns, and more. But one caught his attention more than the others. One he had never been able to use before. He clicked on it, and a blank white screen popped up. A small panel opened next to the screen, and a microphone appeared. He knew what it was. A journal.

He cleared his throat, not sure what to say. “Moonfire’s journal, day 176 on the planet.” As he spoke, the words appeared on the screen. “After six months of building, the colony is complete. And, as commander,” he almost spit the word, “it is my job to document our troubles and triumphs here on Nova Equine.

“I guess I should start with our landing. It was easy. Nothing terrible or spectacular happened. We landed perfectly on a plain, just next to a mountain range that leads to the ocean. I guess that was lucky, as the astronomers were just gauging from pictures taken by probes. And our flight was lucky as well. No pony woke up prematurely, and our casualties were light. Only five out of our initial three hundred twenty died. And four were non-essential personnel.” He hated that word almost as much as ‘commander’. Every pony was essential on this trip. Even if they didn’t have any specific skills.

“Only one was essential. One of our only two nuclear engineers died. We are so lucky they the other did not die, or we would have no way of powering the colony. Since then, we have only had two more deaths. Those were from a terrible accident with the construction, and a random sinkhole opening up a mile or so away during an expedition. But those were in the first month. We have learned to be wary of the geology since then, and no more accidents have occurred.” A smile spread across his face as he had a thought. “We are expecting our first foal soon! In about six months. The first foal born off Equestria, this will be something to remember. I will have to find some way to remember to document it.

“As far as I can remember, the next E.S.S.S. should be here in about fifteen years. Hopefully we will have this made into a suitable home by then! The population should be up by then. Hopefully in the thousand range.” he paused, thinking about the ponies in freezing. “I feel very bad for those ponies. Being frozen, completely aware, it is not something anypony should be subjected to. You have no idea what it feels like, completely trapped, completely conscious, and not being able to move. For three hundred years. It is....maddening. I fear for a weaker ponies sanity.” He paused again, not sure how to continue. “Besides that, I think that is it for now. I will try to do these as often as possible, and especially if something major happens. So, I guess, this is it. Commander Moonfire, signing out.”

He pressed the small, glowing button on the screen, and the microphone retreated back into the wall. The white page, now covered with his words, blinked several times. Green words, “Journal Saved”, flashed then disappeared, as did the page. The screen returned to a cool blue, waiting for his next command. But he didn’t have one, so he just touched the corner of the screen, and it fell back into the wall, as did the chair. He sighed, walking towards his bed. It was still early evening, but he felt extremely tired. He collapsed on the sheets, closing his eyes. But he didn’t fall asleep, as he wanted to. His mind, completely against his will, threw him back to Equestria. Visions of his beloved country swam across his retinas. Canterlot...Ponyville, his home. His wife and colt. He had left them behind. A tear fell through his closed lid. He would always regret that. he would always know he had failed as a father.

He clapped his hooves together, and the lights when out.

*****

Her heart racing in her chest, she waited for the sound of the ship. Any sound besides her own breathing. At first, nothing happened. She opened her violet eyes, not even realizing she had shut them. Shallow, fast breaths escaped her lips as panic rose from within her. Something was wrong. Very, very wrong. No. No, no, no. After all this time, could they still be stuck!? It couldn’t be possible! It just wasn’t--

She was jolted around in her chamber as a deep rumble echoed through the ship. She heard what sounded like millions of kernels of popcorn popping, and the sound of air being pushed through a tube. Another jolt, and she felt her stomach rise, as if she were on a roller coaster. The panic faded, replaced by happiness and hope. She raised her hoof to her ear, calling up Doctor Whooves.

“What was that?” she asked.

“The mechanism was stuck!” he said. “But don’t worry, it just needed to warm up! Celestia, I wish you could see this. It’s beautiful!” he breathed.

“Well, just remember to pilot the thing!” she joked. “I don’t want to crash.”

“Yes Ma’am! We should be hitting the atmosphere soon, so be prepared.” Then he cut off the call, leaving Twilight in silence. It was really happening! They were going to land. She had been dreaming of this moment for four hundred years, and now it was happening.

The feeling in her stomach intensified as the ship picked up speed. She could feel the ship angle towards the planet. Instinctually, she braced herself against the inside of the chamber, and she knew that next to her, her friends were doing the same. A spark of static, and Whooves was back.

“Twenty seconds to atmos. Ten. Five. Now!”

A blast hit the ship, sending Twilight into the side of her chamber. She screamed out as she bit down on her tongue and lip, tasting blood in her mouth. Shudder after shudder roared through the ship. Even Twilight’s teeth were shaking as they screamed towards the ground. The shuddered turned to shakes, and Twilight had to close her eyes to keep from getting sick. Bracing had done nothing, as she was now being thrown back and forth inside the chamber. With a tremendous effort, she raised her hoof to her ear, smashing the communicator against her head as she was thrown around. As she did that, what felt like a fifty pound weight fell on her chest. Her breath left her in a single exhale, and she had to struggle to get it back in.

“Whooves! What’s wrong?!” she screamed. Even her voice was shaking. She almost couldn’t breathe, and her vision was growing smaller.

“That stabilizers aren’t working! And the gravity drive is taking over, doubling the gravity. But that should fix soon. Just hold on, we are almost there!” Just them, the largest shake hit the ship. Twilight was thrown upwards, her head slamming into the top of the chamber. She let out a scream of pain, losing whatever air she had managed to suck in. Her vision went fuzzy, and she let her head fall against the side of the chamber. She could hear Whooves saying something, calling someone's name. Maybe hers, maybe Fluttershy’s, she couldn’t tell.

Through the haze in her mind, she felt the tremors begin to speed up, their intensity increasing. The feeling in her stomach and on her chest grew until it was almost unbearable, then slowly lifted, but her vision stayed the same. Doctor Whooves was still calling her name, but she couldn’t bring up the strength to answer. The last jolt she could feel, was the greatest of them all. Her head slammed against the floor of the chamber. She felt her eyes close, and she passed out.

*****

Moonfire walked down the narrow halls of the colony. Most ponies were on duty, so the halls were empty. But it was a special occasion, so he needed to quit his duties. He walked back into his chamber, a huge smile on his face. He didn’t even take off his uniform this time, he was too excited. He trotted over to the blank wall, sliding his hoof along the screen. The computer and chair popped out of the wall and floor. He sat down heavily in the chair, touching the screen with his hoof. It read it correctly, bringing up the commander’s profile. He touched the journal app with his hoof, which was shaking slightly. The blank page and the microphone appeared. He started to speak, the smile still on his face.

“Commander Moon Fire’s journal, fourteen months on the planet. The foal was born today! A healthy filly! Born to a Biologist and a Chemist on our agricultural team. Born at approximately 4:47 Equestria time. Perfect delivery, no problems at all! She didn’t seem at all worse off for the demanding conditions here. She the cutest thing you ever saw! Soft grey fur with light blue hair, and teal eyes. I know, quite a colourful combination. But, surprisingly, it works for where we are. The parents have decided to name her “Starry Eyes”. I think they are the best parents ever for that. If you ever saw the sky here at night, you would understand.

“As for our current situation...We have hit a small wall. It seems that every seven months or so, at least from what the scientists have told me, there are extreme electrical storms. We can’t even step outside without receiving a shock bad enough to stop our heart. We lost three ponies this week. Hopefully they blow over soon, as we are not finished constructing part of the base. If it doesn’t...well, I will think about that later.

“As for the rest of the situation, everything is almost perfect. The reactor, which is fifty feet below our hooves, is functioning fine. More than enough energy is being produced. I will have to see if there is some way we can store that energy. It might be useful someday if the generator ever malfunctions. Along with that, our biology section is up and running. We have a fully self-supported colony here! No need for those freeze dried rations from the ship. But we are still waiting word on the water. After what happened a couple journals ago, we don’t want to take any chances. So we are using whatever water we brought from the ship. We hope it will last long enough until we can get an “OK”.

“The colonists are a little uneasy, as they should be. I am using all my skills to keep them calm and orderly. But I don’t think it will last much longer under the conditions. If the storms would just let up, we could get rid of some of the cabin fever that has risen up. That is all I can hope for. But, despite all of this, some of the colonists remain happy. Some are calling it a new dawn for us. I agree with the term they are using. The end of one day, and the start on another. They are calling it, a twilight.”

*****

“TWILIGHT!”

She tried to open her eyes, but she couldn’t. Every muscle in her body ached, and she had a throbbing pain right next to her horn. Her heartbeat was pounding in her head. A groan of pain escaped her lips as she moved her head slightly, only increasing the pain in her neck and head.

“Oh, thank Celestia she is alive.” the voice said, relief flooding it. “Twilight, can you hear me?!”

“She’s lost a lot of blood.” another voice said, the complete opposite. Worry dripping off every word.

“It shouldn’t be a problem. But we have to get her out of here.” the first voice said. A stallion’s. Doctor Whooves’ voice.

She let out another groan, trying to say something, but her throat was raw, and all she could manage was a half-hearted moan.

“Don’t worry.” Whooves said. “We are right here. Can somepony help here here?!” A rushing of hooves, then she felt somepony touch her leg. She let out a gasp as even that small touch radiated pain through her whole body. The hoof was removed, then gently placed back.

“This is going to hurt, but just hold on.” Another hoof touched her leg, followed by two others on the other leg. “Ready?” Twilight let out a small ‘Yes” that sounded more like a whimper. A second later, the hooves pulled her slightly. Her eyes flashed open, and she screamed. But the hooves didn’t stop, they just kept pulling. Through her screams, she could hear another pony crying.

She felt her back leave the cold metal of the cryo-chamber. Two more hooves gently supported her back, and she was lowered to the floor. As soon as the hooves left her skin, she curled into a ball, the pain slowly ebbing away. She retreated into herself, trying to block out the pain.

“What’s wrong with her?” a voice asked, thick with tears. Fluttershy’s voice.

“Well, judging from the blood, she has, one, a concussion, and possibly, a skull fracture.” Hooves touched her again, but much more gently this time, barely touching her fur. “She must have passed out, which led to her being tossed around more. Collisions with the walls of the chamber will have caused major bruising, possibly internal bleeding. Twilight, do you feel any pain in your chest area? Possibly your abdomen?”

Twilight, as best as she could, shook her head. It was only her limbs that hurt, and her head. Slowly, clenching her jaw against the pain, she reached up and touched the spot next her her horn. It was wet. She slowly trailed her hoof down the side of her face. The sodden fur continued down to her jawline. When she pulled the hoof back into her eye-line, she almost passed out again. Her hoof was red with blood. Her own blood. As she watched, a small ruby dropped and splattered on the ground next her her. She pulled her hoof against her chest, not wanting to see it.

“Am I going to die?” she asked, her voice raw and scratchy

“No, you won’t.” Whooves answered. “We just need to get you off this ship.”

“Shouldn’t we check the other colonists?” another voice asked. Rainbow’s.

“They should still be in freezing. And we don’t have time to worry about that now.” A loud ripping noise followed his words. “Rarity, hold this against her head. Try to stop the bleeding.” She felt a piece of cloth being held to the side of her head, and pain spiraled down from the spot. “We will have to check them later. But now, we have to figure out how to get out. Rainbow come with me.” Hoof falls trailed away from them, but all Twilight could see was the metal floor and the drop of her own blood. She started to close her eyes, but Rarity touched her cheek.

“Stay with me, darling.” she said soothingly. “We are going to get you out soon!” Twilight painfully turned her head, trying to see Rarity’s face. Her purple mane, normally so perfect, hung limply next her head head. She was holding one leg off the floor, and she as a cut on her muzzle. The fur around it had turned a dark orange-red. But her eyes were wide and filled with worry. Twilight tried to move, but a wave of nausea rolled over her. She fell against the floor again, limp.

“Stay still!” Rarity said, gently turning her so she could see. “You probably shouldn’t move right now.”

“Is everypony else OK?” Twilight asked, her voice becoming a little less hoarse.

“Yes, yes they are. Rainbow and Fluttershy were able to fly, so they are alright. Everypony else just has some scrapes and bumps.”

“Did anypony else pass out?”

Rarity bit her lip. “No, it was only you.”

“Figures.” Twilight said. “I don’t see why--” The sound of hooves brought their conversation to a close.

“We found the way out!” Whooves said, a smile obvious on his face, even if Twilight couldn’t see it. “It’s just down the hall. The whole wall opens up from the look of it!”

“Should we wake up the rest?” Applejack asked. There was a pause.

“No....not just yet.” Whooves replied. “I think we should hold off on that until we are sure the colony is safe.”

“But won’t they wake up?” Pinkie asked, gesturing around at the chambers, each filled with a sleeping pony.

“The generator on this pod should last longer than we will. They will be safe until we wake them up.” But his voice did not copy the confidence that his words did. “Let’s just get Twilight out of here. Fluttershy and Rainbow, I need you to carry her.” A second after he said this, two pairs of hooves touched her legs and around her stomach. The pain this time was less, but she still closed her eyes and sucked in a breath as they gently lifted her off the ground. She tilted slightly as they flew to wherever they were going. She could feel a soft breeze hitting her face, stinging the open wound on her forehead. A few moments later, Rainbow and Fluttershy stopped, still holding her In the air.

“What do we do now!?” Rainbow’s brash voice spoke up.

*****

“Well, the storms have blown over, again.” Moonfire reported. He had returned from the first expedition outside in two months. “The electrical storms have left their marks though. Our insulated base was covered in black scorch marks, as is the ground. Several fires had broken out, was they were quickly extinguished by the rain. We seem to have averted crisis once again.

“As for the rest of the colony, everything is fine. It has been twenty-four months since we landed, and we have grown tremendously since then. We are expecting several more foals in the coming months, adding the the population that has fallen a small bit. I just hope no more accidents like this happen. We need all the ponies we can have if we want to keep this colony going. Since it has been two years, we are expecting the next colony ship in thirteen years. Since we have no way of contacting Equestria, we do know know if they are en route, or if something has happened, or....No. I can’t start to think like that. They are coming, I know they are.

“So besides those two facts, not much had gone on here lately. The ground water is safe to drink. We don’t know what happened last time, but we are investigating it. It has been a couple weeks since my last journal, and nothing has happened relating to the water. So I think we are in the clear now. This had been a short journal, so I will try to make a longer one next time, maybe with more information. Until then, commander Moonfire, signing off.”

*****

“Give me a moment!” Whooves replied. “I just have to find the panel...” Twilight opened her eyes slightly. From what she could tell, they were at the opposite end of the hallway. The dead-end that she had first seen after waking up. Whooves was running his hoof over the wall, looking for the right spot.

“Ah, here it is!” he cried triumphantly. As he said that, a small panel flipped over, revealing a screen. But this one was different than the ones Twilight had encountered before. Instead of green, the screen glowed a cool, light blue. And two, not one, hoofprints glowed on the surface of the screen.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Rarity asked from bellow.

“I think we need two ponies to open it, not just one.” Whooves said, placing his two front hooves on the screen. He was met with a sharp beep, and nothing else. “Thought so. Derpy, come here please.” The grew pegasus floated over to him, holding out her hoof. She touched it to the screen, and he followed her. For a brief moment, a bright glow cascaded over them, then it disappeared, followed by a much softer beep. For a moment, nothing happened. Twilight was afraid they might be trapped inside.

But then, a loud metal grinding met their ears. Shudders, much softer than before, shook the floor under them. The wall started to move, swinging out like a drawbridge. A strip of light appeared at the top, slowly spreading down the side. As it did, a blast of heat washed over them, making Rarity and Pinkie take a step back. The light fell onto them, heating up their fur and blinding them momentarily. Real light, sunlight. The first they had seen since Equestria, four hundred years ago. The door began to sink, and they could see sky. Bright blue sky, just like back on Equestria. A sun was hanging in the sky, just like back home. With a final ‘clang’ the door fell against the ground, and the eight ponies look out onto their new world.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!