• Published 27th Jul 2016
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Harmony Among The Stars - tom117z

The ES Harmony, the pride of Princess Twilight Sparkle and Equestria's first FTL capable starship. It is due to make its maiden voyage to travel further than anypony before it, and yet its first mission... may be its last.

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2 - The Crew

Captain Star Gazer's Log, June 29th, 3382 AD.

This is the day. The day I have been waiting not just since I got my cutie mark, but for all my life. My ship is due to launch later today, and I am keen to get underway. I just hope my previous command of the ES Clover has prepared me for this, though then again the ES Clover does not have an FTL Drive. I shouldn't complain though, the Clover is a good ship, and I wish her new captain all the best.

For now I intend to introduce myself to my new senior officers, we are going to be together for, if all goes well, a very long time after all.

Starbase Alpha, Mess Hall

The mess hall of Starbase Alpha was bustling with activity, excitement for the launch of the Harmony later that day was high.

Among the denizens of the cafeteria two individuals sat at a table by a window offering them an unmatched view of the planet below. They were the weapons officer and helmspony of the Harmony respectively, a griffon and an earth pony.

Helmspony Nimble Star whistled as he looked down upon Equus. “Take it all in, Iynx. We won’t be seeing it for a while.”

Nimble Star was a grey coated earth pony with a black mane. His eyes were green in colour.

The griffon he was talking to was largely similar in complexion to a griffon Princess Twilight had known in her early days, Gilda. However, unlike Gilda she had black coloured patterns surrounding her eyes and beak.

Iynx shrugged. “We will only be gone a few days. To Alpha Centaur and back again.”

“Don’t kill the atmosphere!” Nimble pouted.

“What atmosphere?”

“The atmosphere of anticipation!” Nimble replied. “Normally a trip to our colony on Alpha Centaur would take years under the power of thaumatic drive. We are making history!”

Nimble’s enthusiasm curved a bit. “Though, why are we going to the closest colony? Why not the furthest?”

“This is a test voyage, my friend,” Iynx rolled her eyes. “Princess Twilight just wants to make sure the thing works before undertaking any future missions.”

“That’s no fun,” Nimble sighed.

Iynx smirked. “And that, Nimble, is why you are still an ensign.”

“At least he is enthusiastic,” a male voice said as somepony pulled a char and sat at their table.

“Captain!” both jumped to attention.

“At ease,” Captain Star Gazer said, gesturing for them to sit. “I just wanted to meet my two new additions to the bridge crew.”

Star Gazer was well built Pegasus with a light blue coat and a shortly cut, blonde mane. His eyes were a slightly darker shade of blue than his coat, and his cutie mark was a small gathering of stars.

“Lieutenant Commander Iynx and Ensign Nimble Star, am I correct?” he asked the two.

“Yes sir,” Nimble responded. “That’s us.”

Star nodded. “I’ve read both of your files, but as it were I would rather hear about you from the horse’s mouth. I like to get to know my crew personally.”

“Of course,” Nimble nodded. “I’m Nimble Star, but you already know that of course. I was born in Cloudsdale twenty one years ago and enlisted at the age of sixteen, the moment I was of age. I graduated from the academy one year ago and I took the helm of one of our Celestial Class defence ships.”

“So I heard,” The Captain said. “I also heard you distinguished yourself quite a bit. Enough to be assigned as the helm officer of the first of the brand new Harmony Class of ships, my ship.”

“Yes, well…” Nimble shuffled. “About two months ago the ES Starswirl was hijacked while docked at Starbase Beta by rogue griffons. They had intended to use the ship to commit a terrorist attack against Canterlot, and the griffon flying was quite the pilot. Apparently he had served as a helmspony himself for a few years before resigning.”

Nimble took a quick swig of his glass of water before continuing. “Anyway, three ships gave chase. The ES Celestial, ES Crystal Heart and my ship, the ES Magic of Friendship. The Celestial and Crystal Heart fell behind, but we managed to overtake the Starswirl and come into weapons range. We disabled it, boarded it and took it back. However, the Starswirl was damaged beyond repair and scuttled soon after.”

“Impressive, you were the only helmspony able to keep up,” Star Gazer noted.

“Yes. Princess Twilight Sparkle had me assigned as the Harmony’s helmspony right after.”

“Wait,” Iynx interrupted. “Two months ago? Is that all it takes to learn how to fly an FTL starship?”

“FTL is intended to be largely automated. All I will need to do is place in course adjustments. It is at sub-light my skills are going to shine.”

The Captain turned to Iynx. “And what of you?”

“I’m a griffon, I was born in Griffonstone, I shoot things,” she simply said.

“That’s it?” Nimble deadpanned.

“That is all that needs to be said,” Iynx replied nonchalantly. “Besides, I’m more interested in our dear captain.”

“Me?” Star raised an eyebrow. “Well, I was born and raised in Ponyville. I served in Princess Twilight’s guard for a few years when I was younger before moving over to the space program. I was the weapons officer aboard the ES Defender for a few years. I earned a promotion to captain after working well in a mission organised by Princesses Luna and Twilight. Until recently I was in command of the ES Clover.”

Star Gazer looked towers a clock on the mess hall’s wall, shaking his head on seeing the time. “But I’m afraid that is enough of story time, I’m needed on the Harmony.” He got up to leave, turning back momentarily. “I look forward to serving with you both.”

ES Harmony, Sick Bay

The ES Harmony’s medical bay was a large rectangular shape with beds lining all around the outside. A large table spanned down the centre on which sat all sorts of equipment. At the opposite end of the entrance sat two more doors, one leading to a storage room and the other leading to intensive care. The room itself was an entirely medical white, the only exception was the padding on the beds, which was black in colour.

Right now as the ship prepared for launch few were in the medical bay. Those who were, were taking stock of their medical supplies to ensure they didn’t leave short of anything. The only exception was two at the far end, one sitting on the bed and one desperately trying to get the other to sit his flank down.

“If you will, could you please hold still?!” Chief Medical Officer Geneser, a female zebra, said in frustration to the constantly flinching unicorn as she tried to apply salve to a burn on his right foreleg.

“I’m sorry. It just stings more than a little,” the unicorn explained.

“Then you should have waited your turn, if you didn’t want to get that burn,” Geneser shook her head in disapproval. “For you to even dare, it’s like you don’t give a care.”

“Maintenance is behind schedule as it is. I’m the chief engineer, I needed to speed things along,” responded Chief Engineer Silver Wrench.

The zebra tutted in disapproval. “To fix the FTL Drive, we need you alive.”

Silver rolled his eyes. “Do you ever not speak in rhymes?”

“No,” was the answer she gave.

“That wasn’t a rhyme,” he jabbed.

Geneser simply gave him a deadpan look, and then went to apply the salve again.

Geneser was a zebra with green eyes and a short mane done in the style of a Mohawk. She lacked any traditional zebra jewellery and instead wore a white medical coat. She was in her late twenties and was born to a family of zebra shamans in Zebrica, hence the rhyming.

In contrast, Silver Wrench was a red unicorn stallion with a dark brown mane. His eyes were a light blue and he had a sliver wrench for a cutie mark. Unlike much of the crew, Silver wasn’t born on Equus. Rather, he was born on the planet Mares, his family stemming back to the original colonists.

“Ow!” he shouted as Geneser applied the salve and finished up.

“All done. Now try not to get another one,” Geneser suggested to him as she went to pack away the medical equipment and Silver jumped off the bed.

“I will do best. Burns are not exactly something I particularly enjoy, though they are not something entirely unfamiliar to me I will admit.”

The zebra he was talking with simply elected to roll her eyes.

“I suggest you get back to engineering. That is, unless you find medical so endearing,” she chuckled.

“Silver Wrench, sir?” a voice sounded over the sick bay intercom.

“Hold that thought,” Silver joked to Geneser as he went over to the nearest intercom to answer the call for him. “This is Silver Wrench, what is going on down there?”

“Sir, we have some fluctuations in some of the FTL drive’s mana injectors, we could use your help stabilising them.”

Silver wrench groaned. “I’m on my way.”

Silver turned back to Geneser. “However endearing sick bay may be, duty calls,” he winked, moving towards the exit.

Geneser momentarily raised an eyebrow, before just shaking her head with a small grin on her face.

Silver Wrench exited the sick bay and walked towards the lift at the end of the hallway that would take him to the lower decks where engineering was located. However, as he reached the door to the elevator it opened up to reveal four large forms.

Silver gave a respectful nod to the four princesses as they exited the elevator and he took his place within, the door closing a moment later.

“That was the chief engineer, was it not?” Luna asked.

“It was, his name is Silver Wrench,” Twilight responded. “Anyway, medical is at the end of the hallway, run by a zebra mare name Geneser.”

The four princesses came to the conclusion of their tour of the ship as the final lift moved on upwards to the final destination they had yet to visit. The bridge.

“Will the captain be here?” Cadance asked.

“Captain Star Gazer isn’t one for tardiness,” Twilight replied. “He’ll be there.”

“Star Gazer?” Luna said questioningly. “I recall that name.”

“He was part of the rescue mission to recover the survivors of that crashed freighter on Mares a few years back,” Twilight reminded her. “We promoted him to captain afterwards for his service.”

“Ah yes, I remember him now,” Luna smiled. “You picked the captain of this ship well.”

“I do so pride myself on my organisational skills,” Twilight smirked. “Besides, he practically begged for the chance to explore the cosmos further. Exploring the stars is his passion and special talent after all.”

The lift came to a halt as the two doors slid open.

“Right this way,” Twilight said as she stepped onto the bridge.

Mares and stallions sat at the various consoles in the circular room, some performing diagnostics of the systems with others making a few final adjustments to the new equipment. One engineer had his nose in the open helm as he tweaked with a few wires and circuits.

Viewing the organised chaos around him from the central captain’s chair was Star Gazer.

“Ensign,” he called out. “Put control on the view screen.”

“Yes sir,” the ensign in question said as she did as commanded.

A few moments later the view screen activated and changed the open view of the dock to Starbase Alpha’s command centre.

“Captain, we read you. What do you require?” one of the ponies in the command centre asked.

“My chief engineer informed me that one of the mana injectors was damaged due to a misalignment. It’s easily repairable but will go a lot quicker with some extra parts and hooves. We won’t launch on the deadline otherwise.”

“We will send a repair team over to the Harmony at once.”

“Thank you command, Harmony out,” The Captain thanked as the transmission was cut off.

“Troubles, Captain?” Twilight asked as she and the other approached.

“Princess,” Captain Star got up from his chair and saluted. “Just some teething issues ma’am, nothing we cannot handle or unexpected. The ship is brand new after all.”

Twilight nodded in understanding. “I see.”

“It is a pleasure to see you and Princess Luna again,” he said before turning to the other two princesses. “Princess Celestia, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, it is an honour to make your acquaintance.”

“The honour is ours, Captain,” Celestia greeted in return. “You have quite the ship.”

Star Gazer nodded. “She is something. I’m proud to be captain of such a fine vessel.”

“You’ve earned it,” Twilight assure him. “Will the ship be ready for launch on schedule?”

“Silver Wrench has things in hoof,” Star Gazer assured the lavender princess. “The remaining crew is on standby. I recently had the pleasure of introducing myself to Ensign Nimble Star and Lieutenant Commander Iynx. We will be off to Alpha Centaur and back in record time.”

“We’d better, I designed the ship and its engines after all,” Twilight said. “Should things go well, I will see it you and the crew go on a longer mission of exploration.”

“I greatly look forward to it,” The Captain bowed. “Who knows, we may encounter some other forms of life.”

“Keen to encounter aliens are we, Captain?” Cadance grinned.

“One can only hope,” he responded.

Author's Note:

I'm using naval ranks for the crew, similar to how I use normal military ranks for the EUP.

If you are wondering about the zebra's name, it is Afrikaans for healer.

There are also colonies in three other systems, each of those colonies having two ships each currently. The remaining eight ships are in their home system: There are five Celestial Class defense vessels which were all named in this chapter and a sixth having been destroyed, one is the Harmony and the final two are freighters shipping things between the various colonies throughout the home system. Fourteen ships in total, as stated in the last chapter.

Also yes, Alpha Centaur is Alpha Centauri :pinkiecrazy: