• Published 20th Apr 2016
  • 11,851 Views, 2,311 Comments

Gazing to the Ocean of the Sky - David Silver

She can swim far and wide across the waters of Equestria, but it's not enough. There are places above those waters, places she plans to reach. Where biology failed her, her mind would succeed. Equestria better be ready, because she plans to visit!

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2 - Just a Turn to the Right

With a final twist, the hoof came off, but the whole thing looked uneven. She was ready for that though and attacked it with a sharp cutter that she ran along the uneven edge until it came down nice and flat. Then she curled it up and around and banged on it until both sides had a lip to it. The more she worked, the more it seemed like it was just the right size... Had it been made for a hippocampus?

"Why three hooves?" She tilted her head at her half-repaired device. "Maybe that's why it stopped working."

"Cerulean Firstquarter Tide!" came the bellowing voice of her mother. Her full name had been invoked, and that means nothing good.

Cherry winced with fear and looked left and right even as her mother stormed into the room in a flurry of bubbles. "Do you even know what I just got?"


She thrust forward a hoof with a small shell attached. It was her report card. "Always distracted. Doesn't pay attention to lessons. Not living up to her potential..." She scowled at her daughter. "That's it. Enough! You had your fun." She darted forward and grabbed for the machine and Cherry's chest tightened. She was so close, she couldn't even stand the idea of losing it. She swam forward and down, coming up from beneath with her hooves grabbing it even as her mother did and they began wrestling back and forth for it. "Let it go. It's not yours anymore."

"Mom! No!" She pulled once more. Though her mother was larger, she was no young creature anymore, and she slipped. Cherry flew backwards with the device and they crashed against the far wall. Cherry felt dizzy and a little cramped. Looking down, she saw she had managed to catch the device around her barrel, where it had gotten stuck about halfway down. The hooves hung from her like she had four of them. Was that? What was it?

Her mother raised a brow at her. "Are you alright? Look, I didn't come in here to hurt you, Cherry. You're my girl, and I care about you. You know that, right?" She swam closer and reached for Cherry. "Now let's get you out of that thing. We can have a nice dinner and put this--"

"No!" Cherry kicked away with her powerful tail, darting around her mother. "Mom, you're a genius! I think this is what I was supposed to do."

She raised a brow. "Do for what? Dear, you look a little ridiculous."

A sudden ticklish sensation gripped Cherry and she writhed in a fit. The machine slid off of her and sank to the floor. She was glowing gently with an inner light, but it was already fading.

Her mother blinked with surprise. "You... What is that?" She leveled a hoof at the new cutie mark that adorned her daughter. "Those are the things you used on that thing! What even are they?"

She didn't know, not by name. It was the thing that turned things and the other thing that turned other things. "I'm not entirely sure, but if it's my mark, then this is my destiny." She grabbed her fallen machine with her hooves. "You can't argue that, mother."

Her mother looked crestfallen, shrinking a bit on herself. "Cherry... Look, first, congratulations. I'm very proud of you, but I don't know what to do. Please understand. If you'd gotten a mark in swimming, I'd have you in a swimming club in a flash to learn to be the best swimmer in the ocean." She pointed at the alien mark. "I don't know what to do with this! I don't think you even know what to do with it."

Cherry's ears pinned to her head a moment as she held her beloved device and frowned with obvious thought. "I found this by the dryness. Maybe it's from there. Maybe that's where I need to be."

She put her hooves on Cherry's shoulders. "That is no place for any of us... There are no fish. There is no water, no seaweed! What will you do there? Please... There must be something else."

Cherry flicked her tongue over her lips as she looked anywhere but at her mother. "Let me think about it. Alright? Let's sleep on it."

Her mother visibly relaxed. "Yes, sleep on it..." She bobbed her head firmly. "That sounds like a great idea, but first, a little snack. Look, I forgive you. For better or worse, you found your mark. I don't understand it, but you found it. You're still my daughter, and I want you to be happy."

Cherry released her machine. Hugging her mother suddenly felt like the most important thing in the world, so they hugged, tightly and desperately. Somehow, they both knew they would part soon.

Twilight sat down before the terminal that had brought her no pleasure the last time she had tried it. She grumbled as she glared at it coldly.

Spike hopped up on a box nearby. "Why are we back here again?"

Twilight waved a hoof at him. "The pony I rented it from said it was my fault it was lost. He said get it back, and so here we are." She rolled her eyes and reached out, flicking the first screen on. The dot was far removed from where it had been sinking. "Huh, looks like a tide carried it along? I wonder if the camera works."

She reached for another button and she saw a picture. It was the ocean bottom, just as she wanted to see, but none of the controls moved the camera even a tiny bit. All it could see was the ocean, sideways and half buried. The terminal began to beep softly, then the image went dark and a new light flashed sadly, reporting the camera had no more magic to power it remaining.

Twilight threw up a hoof in frustration. "He said it'd run for a day and it was powered off this entire time! Lousy piece of..."

Spike leaned forward from his perch. "What if it's broke?"

She frowned a little. "That would make sense. Maybe that's why the movement didn't work." She tapped at the terminal. "If I'm reading this correctly, the forelegs are busted, but the hindlegs show just fine." She wriggled the controls for them. "Nothing seems to happen though."

Cherry sat upright in her bed, swimming free towards the clanking sound to discover her machine seemingly try to hobble itself around with little success. Its legs kicked and twitched in failed attempts at movement. She tilted her head one way and the other at the curious device. "Does it want to go home?" Was it even alive? Did it have a will? No, that didn't make sense... It didn't cry when she broke it or cut it or the other things.

She grabbed it and held it up so just its hooves touched the ground, and it began to move properly. It seemed to lack the balance to remain upright, but so long as she handled that, it could walk along. It bumped into a wall with her, seemingly unable to see that there was a wall. Her curiosity just swelled with every motion of the thing. What if there were no walls? She hefted it up and darted out the nearest window.

Twilight's face brightened. "It's moving!" She triumphantly pointed to the monitor that showed the blinking dot. "It's not very fast, but it suddenly started responding to the recall. This is great." She clopped her hooves with triumph. "I just had to be a little patient with it."

Cherry held up the hoop of the thing, letting it walk along where it desired. After an hour of it, her legs began to feel tired from keeping it upright. A new idea came to her and she ducked under it, sliding up into it and holding it up with her entire body. Her powerful tail could keep them both upright without trouble and those legs kept carrying her right along. She glanced back towards her village, too far away to even see the light of it.

She had left and didn't even realize it, or say goodbye to anypony. "I'll be back," she weakly murmured to the darkness, ears folded back and down. She just had to know where the thing wanted to go. She had to...

"Hey, Twilight." Spike had taken a turn watching the terminal. "It stopped again."

Twilight looked up from her daisy sandwich. "Have you tried jiggling the controls?"

Spike obediently tried just that, but the dot didn't move much, if at all. "Nope, stuck. Um, I don't think it's that far now. Maybe we could just, you know, pick it up?"

She perked her ears curiously. "That would be a lot faster than trying to control this thing the rest of the way back." She spread her wings and gave them a little flap. "Shame these things don't work underwater. How far is it?"

Together they peered at the screen. It didn't have exact units on it, but it did seem a lot closer than it had been before.

Spike made a swimming motion in the air. "I've swum plenty of times. You know how to, right?"

Twilight raised a brow at him. "Of course, Spike." She pointed at the monitor. "It's not so deep this time, but it's still pretty deep. Hopefully we can just snatch it up and get back to shore. If it's stuck, leave it. It's not worth risking either of us for." She snorted softly. "Pony'll just be out of luck."

Spike moved along with her towards the shore. "It wasn't our fault it broke in the first place. We didn't even get to control it before it broke." He rolled his eyes. "The way I see it, he owes us a refund."

As they began paddling out in the direction of their missing device, Twilight spoke cautiously, "Now we could just dive and hope, but that's not what we're going to do. I don't have proper diving equipment, but this should do well enough for a short jaunt." Her horn glowed with her magic as two bubbles appeared, one around each of their heads. "See? It doesn't have much air though." The bubbles popped.

Spike bobbed his head quickly. "Hey, a few breaths are better than none. I'll pretend I don't have any to be on the safe side." He gave an emphatic thumbs up.

Soon they had arrived where they guessed was close to where the thing had stopped moving. It was time to dive.

Cherry squirmed and struggled. The suit had walked itself right into a mess and she found herself caught in some kind of net. The legs were tangled, her tail was tangled. Everything was tangled! She grunted as she tried to pull herself free as she lamented her recent life decisions. Surely she wasn't destined to follow this thing just to get caught forever in some stupid trap!

"Anyone? Please, help!" She didn't expect much help. She was far from home, and dangerously close to the dry lands, where no ponies lived. There was only dryness and despair this way, and not many fish either.

She heard swimming. She tensed at first, fearing some predator had come for an easy snack, but the swimming sounded... wrong. That was no fish's paddling. She looked up towards it and saw two figures approaching. One was small and scaley. A dragon? She'd heard some dragons had visited her people before, but they were usually much bigger, she thought, and scarier. That one was tiny, not even as big as herself.

The one beside her was even more baffling as it came closer. It looked like one of her people, but so incredibly wrong. Where was her tail? She had four hooves! Four! She swam with less grace than a foal, and a bubble was around her head, and the dragon's too now that she looked for it. What were those for? Maybe they were friendly? Or maybe this net... Was she their catch?!

Cherry began to thrash with renewed terror.

The dragon tilted his head, looking towards the motion. "Hey, uh, Twi?"

Twi, the four-hoofed one, looked where he looked. "What in Equestria...?" Her tone was breathless and her eyes wide.

Were they talking? Cherry slowed her squirming and looked to them with a smoldering mote of hope. "Can you help me?"

Author's Note:

And so the two people meet. A more perfect meeting couldn't have been planned!

Cherry is a long way from home, and may end up even further to pursue her destiny. Will her promise, spoken to the dark ocean, be upkept?

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