• Published 27th Jul 2016
  • 9,787 Views, 932 Comments

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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3 - Launch

Captain's Log, Supplemental.

This is it. The launch of the ES Harmony. Tensions are high, as is the excitement. Once the go is given we are due to launch and set course for Alpha Centaur at FTL, records will be broken and the furutre made on this day.

And I am honored to be captain.

Starbase Alpha, Control Room

The control room of Starbase Alpha was filled with reporters and spectators kept at bay by a single roped off area and some guards standing watch. A podium had recently been erected at the very front with the symbol of the Equus Space Program, ESP, displayed proudly on the front. The view screen of the control room was showing a live image of the docking bay where the ES Harmony was undergoing its final countdown. The crew of the control centre worked at their consoles as they always did, communicating with the Harmony as final preparations were concluded.

“This is it,” Twilight uttered in anticipation, standing with the other princesses at one of the control room’s entrances as of yet unnoticed by the spectators. “I’ve been waiting for this day for many years.”

“Be proud then, Twilight,” Celestia said. “Your voyage is about to begin, and I suggest you get yourself to the bridge.”

“We will hold the fort while you are gone,” Cadance assured.

Twilight tapped a hoof on her chin with a small mischievous smile on her face. “Are you sure you can survive without me for a while? If it’s too much trouble I could call the whole thing off.”

Cadance rolled her eyes. “I swear you just get more and more snarky in your old age.”

“Old age?!” Twilight pouted.

“And what does that make you, Cadenza?” Luna asked. “You are a decade older than Twilight Sparkle, after all.”

“Extremely old,” she replied.

The four alicorns shared a light-hearted laugh between them, seeming more like a family than four co-rulers. Of course though, that was exactly the truth.

“I’ll see you in about seven days, if my calculations are correct,” Twilight said to the other three princesses.

“Be safe, Twilight,” Celestia asked of her. “Space is a dangerous frontier.”

“I’ll be fine,” Twilight said. “I’ve survived time travel, demonic centaurs and your mischievous nature. I’m sure I can survive this.”

Celestia gave a nod, and after a few final farewells Twilight took her leave. The three princesses watched the lavender alicorn go, turning towards each other when they lost sight of her.

“I bet she’s squealing like a filly on the inside,” Cadance giggled. “When I visited her castle in Ponyville before coming up here, I may have had a little peak in her room. Books… everywhere. Specifically about space.”

“Why would she need those?” Luna asked. “She knows everything currently known about the universe off by heart by now.”

“It just goes to show how excited she is,” Cadance smiled. “Like I said, a little filly.”

Celestia chuckled “I noticed a similar thing earlier.”

“Yes,” Luna said. “Her eagerness is only rivalled by my sister’s love of baked good.”

Celestia glared daggers at Luna.

That only spurred the blue alicorn on however. “I’m talking about cake of course.”

“Lulu, I love you but… if you call me fat there is a perfectly good airlock for you nearby,” Celestia growled.

Cadance and Luna shared an amused look, before both dramatically rolled their eyes in perfect sync.

“Your highnesses,” a crewmember approached them.

“Yes Commander, what is it?” Celestia turned to the pony.

“All the crew is on board and Captain Star Gazer has given the all clear. We’re ready to begin.”

Celestia nodded. “Very well, as you were.”

The Commander bowed, retreating back into the command centre afterwards.

“Come then, my fellow princesses,” Celestia motioned them in. “Show time.”

ES Harmony

Princess Twilight stepped onto the bridge of the Harmony, the work crews were gone and in their place most of the bridge crew had taken their positions. The only ones missing were Iynx and Nimble Star.

“Captain,” Twilight greeted as she took her place by the captain’s chair. “Are things in order?”

“They are,” he confirmed. “We packed a few extra parts at the behest of our chief engineer. Aside from that everything went exactly as planes, all the crew is aboard and we just need to give the order for all personnel to get to their stations.”

Twilight nodded. “Do it. Though, let’s have all senior officers on the bridge for this.”

“At once, your highness,” Star Gazer pressed down onto his chair’s in-built intercom. “All hooves, this is the captain. The ship is in order and we are preparing to launch, attend your stations at once. All senior officers report to the bridge immediately.”

Captain Star Gazer switched off the intercom, turning to look up at Princess Twilight Sparkle.

“All set. Now all we need to do is wait for the signal to go.

Twilight hummed to herself. “Put the command centre on the view screen. I want to hear Princess Celestia’s speech.”

“At once,” Star Gaze acknowledged, gesturing for the communications officer to carry out the princess’ orders.

The screen flickered to the view of the Starbase’s command centre, the general chatter was still heavy as the Princess prepared a few things by the podium. Luna and Cadance had already taken their places either side of said podium along with the various other rulers of Equus’s many nations.

The elevator doors swished open and the four requested senior officers stepped off.

“Nice of you to join us,” Star Gazer turned his chair to face them. “Lieutenant Commander Iynx, attend tactical. Ensign Nimble Star, take the helm.

“Aye sir,” Nimble saluted as he and Iynx moved to their stations.

The Captain nodded to the two bridge officer, then turning to the other two with them. “Geneser, Silver Wrench, just make yourselves comfortable and enjoy the show.”

They both nodded back, electing to move and stand by Iynx as she checked over her console unit.

“Iynx, greetings,” Geneser greeted the griffon. “I’m sorry our previous meeting was fleeting.”

“You were busy, that fine,” Iynx dismissed. “Glad to have you aboard. Haven’t seen many zebras on the Harmony.”

“The company I find isn’t at all bad, but the lack of my kind is a little sad,” Geneser admitted.

“There are a couple in engineering,” Silver Wrench said. “Damn fine engineers too. I’m happy to have them I can tell you.”

Iynx and Geneser smirked as Silver Wrench realised what he just said.

“Celestia damn it, the rhymes are spreading!”

“Still,” Iynx continued. “It is a shame. There are plenty of griffons aboard. Donkeys too. I even have some minotaurs among my security staff.”

“Oh yeah, I spotted them earlier,” Silver Wrench said. “Big fellas aren’t they?”

“Why do you think they are security?” Iynx grinned.

The group turned to the view screen when they heard the chatter die down, and Celestia move to begin her speech. All became equally quiet on the bridge of the Harmony as they waited patiently for Celestia to start.

“So it begins,” muttered Iynx.

Celestia stood on the podium, examining the gathered crowd, the familiar feeling of expectant eyes laid on her with anticipation.

“Fillies and gentlecolts, I thank you for attending, for today is a momentous occasion. For many years has our combined races looked towards the stars, wondering and dreaming what is out there, and what we will find. The ESP was a project built off of the friendship and cooperation of not one nation, but all of us united. Together we have propelled our planet into a new age among the stars.”

Nods and mutters of agreements spread gently through the crowd, photographers taking this moment to snap a few photographs as reports made notes on their pads.

“Thaumatic drive allowed us to spread our wings and explore our home system. We colonised my sister’s moon, terraformed the long dead planet Mares, and only continued from there. Sleeper ships allowed us to spread to three other nearby systems and go further than any have gone before.”

Celestia paused, glancing up at the image of the Harmony.

“And now, our friendship has produced a new miracle. One that will guarantee our advancement and exploration throughout areas of space many once thought impossible to reach. I present to you the ES Harmony, out first FTL capable starship.”

Applause spread throughout the crowd, Celestia allowed herself a small smile before continuing onwards.

“What would have, only a short while ago, taken years will now only take days. Space travel is no longer the long and treacherous effort it used to be. At about 457 metres in length and carrying a crew of 800, this ship is the largest and most advanced ever built. Built through the sweat and tears of all of us, leading us to this very day. The day where our newest starship will move out and spread friendship and harmony across the stars.”

Celestia gave a nod to one of the operators, who immediately got on the comms and messaged the ES Harmony.

“ES Harmony, this is Starbase Alpha. You are cleared for departure, safe trip Harmony.”

The message came in loud and clear across the bridge, Twilight gave the captain and nod of approval and he leant forwards in his chair.

“Helm, activate thaumatic drive. Take us out, nice and slow.”

The view screen switched from the control centre to what was directly ahead of the ship.

“Thaumatic drive activated,” Nimble reported as he worked his control console. “Engaging engines.”

The docking clamps holding the Harmony in place deactivated and retracted, as did the docking tube. The two engines lit up brightly as power was fed into them, and then the ship began to move. It started off at the pace of a snail, but soon enough it began to speed up a little, but nowhere near to the fullest of the ship’s sub-light capabilities. Many throughout the station watched on through windows and monitors as the Harmony steadily progressed towards the large hangar doors. As the ship approached flashing red lights blinked across the doors as they began to open, offering a breath taking view of the moon and part of the planet on the other side. Two of the five more basically designed Celestial Class defence ships could be seen in the distance performing their patrols; they were long but bulky vessels with the bridge located at the very front and the two engines located either side at the end of their respective pylons, each only had a crew of about nine, and were easily dwarfed by the far larger Harmony Class Starship

As the ES Harmony cleared the hangar the engines flared and the thaumatic drive kicked fully into gear. The ship rapidly performed a right turn and flew directly away from the planet.

“Starbase Alpha, this is ES Harmony,” the communications officer spoke. “We are away.”

Back at Starbase Alpha’s control room cheers erupted from both the spectators and the crew on duty there, images of the Harmony were broadcasted live across all of their colonies and installations.

“Sir, we have just passed by the moon, and have a clear exit from here on out.”

“Align us up for Alpha Centaur,” Star Gazer ordered.

“Aye,” Nimble responded, imputing the coordinates into the navigation computer.

“Princess,” Captain Star Gazer addressed the alicorn to his right. “With your permission.”

“Granted,” Princess Twilight smiled, looking directly forwards towards the view screen.

“We are aligned,” Ensign Nimble Star reported. “Waiting on your order.”

The Captain pressed on his intercom. “Engineering? Status report.”

In engineering the consoles showed everything was normal and the ship’s systems were running within acceptable parameters. When the call from The Captain came over the intercom, a zebra engineer was the closest to it. The zebra trotted over from the panel he was studying to the intercom on the wall.

Engineering itself was a large industrial area of the ship, a large reactor filled out the space in the middle, and the reactor itself was laid out horizontally and ran all the way down engineering. Multi-coloured lights shined through the various ports in the reactor from the large amount of magical energies inside powering the ship.

“The FTL drive is purring like a kitten, we’re all set down here captain,” the zebra engineer reported to the bridge. “The drive is spun up and ready.”

The Captain sat back in his chair, savouring the moment.

“Nimble Star, engage.”

The Ensign pressed forwards on one particular lever on his control panel, lights blinking on and a large rumbling sound spreading all throughout the starship. On the view screen the stars seemed to blur as distortions spread around the ship as the drive activated.

Outside, onlookers witnessed both the engines flare up briefly even brighter than before and then a bright flash as the ES Harmony jolted forwards.

And then the Harmony was gone, having jumped successfully to FTL on route to Alpha Centaur.

Author's Note:

The ship 457.2 metres in length, or 1500 feet of you prefer.