• Published 8th Sep 2016
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Where No Pony Has Gone Before - RK_Striker_JK_5

Equestria makes contact with the Enterprise. Star Trek/MLP crossover.

  • ...

Chapter Two

The two chariots quickly descended as they flew towards the Starfleet officers. They touched down and trotted to a stop in front of the quartet. The pegasi towing the chariots all wore identical plate armor. In the largest chariot stood none other than Princess Twilight Sparkle herself. Unlike in the probe's footage, she wore a crown, cape and golden regalia. Even her saddlebags had golden embroidery to them and were shiny. Before the chariots had stopped, she unhitched the rear door's latch, trotted down and around to stand in front of the Starfleet officers. Twilight strained her neck as she looked up at them, as the top of her head came up to about their waistlines. She bit her lower lip, but the corners of her mouth still curled upward. “Captain Kirk, I presume?” she finally said. “My name is Princess Twilight Sparkle, and welcome to Equestria!”

Kirk nodded. He dropped down to one knee. “Thank you, your highness. We are... honored to be here.” He motioned to the others. “My science officer Mister Spock, chief medical officer Doctor McCoy, and chief communications officer and expert in xeno-linguistics, Lieutenant Commander Uhura.”

Twilight nodded along with each one introduced. “Science, medicine, and language. You've got all the bases covered, Captain!” Her horn glowed and a clipboard and quill floated out of one of her saddlebags. “I've had seats installed in the chariots for you, along with safety straps. You'll get a magnificent view of the countryside on the way to Canterlot! Once we arrive, you'll be able to meet with the other three princesses; Celestia, Luna and Cadance.”

Kirk nodded. “These other three princesses, they are... head of the government, along with yourself?”

Twilight glanced up. “Well, Celestia and Luna are. I'm... not that high up in the hierarchy. Cadance is ruler of the Crystal Empire.”

Bones slowly walked over to one of the chariots. He looked it over, swallowed, and kicked one of the wooden wheels. “Well, how... interesting.”

The pegasi all exchanged glances, some of them rolling their eyes.

Kirk walked over to Bones' side. “Problem, Bones?” He motioned to Twilight. “Come on, we... don't want to keep our hostess waiting.”

Bones sighed and leaned in close to Kirk. “Jim, I'm not sure this thing is completely safe. Those chairs are bolted in there, and I think I can still see some of the metal shavings from the screws.”

The lead pegasi of the team hooked up to the chariot looked up at Bones. He cleared his throat. “Doctor? My name is Lieutenant High-Flier. I'd like to assure you that my team has never had an accident in over three-thousand hours of flight-time. We won't let you down.”

Kirk half-smiled. “Bones, if you'd like, I could arrange for... a shuttle to fly down and pick you up. Just hold your arms up and wave them in when they fly overhead.”

Spock arched an eyebrow. “Doctor, your trepidation is quite illogical. We witnessed Princess Sparkle traveling in that very chariot on her journey to greet us.” He stepped into the chariot, sat down and strapped himself in.

Bones groaned. He walked to the back of the chariot, plopped down into a seat and pulled at the straps. “Dammit, if I don't go up now, Spock will never let me hear the end of it.” He finagled a bit with the straps, finally buckling them over his waist and shoulders. “Try not to exceed the speed limit, gentlemen. I'm bad enough with shuttlecraft.”

Kirk looked up. “Princess Sparkle, pardon the question, but there appears to be only... four seats in the chariots.”

Twilight smiled and unfolded her wings. “Don't worry, Captain. I'm well-prepared for the trip back to Canterlot.” She glanced down and blushed slightly. “And it gives me a little bit of practice with formation-flying.” She flapped her wings. “Oh, but don't worry! I haven't flown into anyone in a week!”

Bones gripped the edge of his seat, his knuckles turning white. “Jim, that shuttlecraft you mentioned?”

Uhura spoke up. “Captain, would you like me to ride with Doctor McCoy? I can hold his hand if he'd like.”

Kirk waved her off. “Thank you, Commander, but I'll ride with Bones. I'd like you and Spock to confer and bounce ideas off each other, and you'd make a far better sounding-board than I would.”

Uhura smiled. “Thank you, Captain.” She walked over to Spock's chariot, while Kirk sat down next to Bones and strapped himself in.

Twilight looked up. “Oh, when we're airborne, we can do a flyby of the Castle of Friendship! You can't see it from this angle, but once we're in the sky we'll pass right by it on our way to Canterlot!” She stomped the ground a few times and giggled. Twilight suddenly stopped, cleared her throat, stretched her wings out and flew up into the sky.

The pegasi followed suit, quickly taking to the sky. As they ascended, a multi-story castle straight out of a fairy tale came into view. The base looked like a tree carved from crystal, with a huge double-door set into the base. A violet castle was set in its branches, looking like it had grown from the tree itself. A giant crystalline star reached out to the sky from its tallest parapet, shining in the sunlight.

Twilight flew up besides Kirk and Bones. “That's the Castle of Friendship, Captain.” She squinted, started drifting to the chariot, but stopped and banked a hard left away. “WHOA!”

High-Flier looked over. “Don't follow your line of sight, your highness! Keep in your proper lane and don't drift!”

Twilight kept her eyes straight ahead as she nodded. “Got it, High-Flier. Sorry about that, Captain! Ah, as I was saying, that's the Castle of Friendship. I'll... talk a bit more about it when we've got all our hooves and wheels on the ground.”

Kirk nodded. He turned to Bones, who was now pale as a sheet. “Enjoying the ride?”

Bones growled. “Jim, next time just beam me to wherever in God's name you need to send me, okay? I'll take my chances!”

Kirk's jaw canted to the left for a moment before he spoke. “I'll... keep that in mind for the next mission, Doctor.” He looked to the castle again, then over to the chariot Spock and Uhura were riding in. He saw both of them with tricorders out, pointing them at the castle. “Good.” He glanced back at Bones. “Any opinions on this... Castle of Friendship?”

Bones shrugged. “I'm a doctor, Jim, not an architect!” He spared a look over at it. “Hmm, a bit gaudy if you ask me.”

Kirk went to respond, but a pink streak below caught his attention. He looked down as it winded down a path towards the castle. He waved at Twilight, catching her eye. “Princess! No, no need to fly over here. Could you tell me where Miss... Pinkie, I believe, is going? We had a.... brief meeting before you showed up, but she ran off before we could talk. I hope we didn't... startle her.”

Twilight glanced over. “Pinkie?” She looked down, eyes quickly locking onto the pink streak. “Oh, Pinkie Pie! No, Captain. I don't think you startled her, or at least any more than she already could be. It's been a bit of a busy couple of weeks for her.”

Pinkie Pie galloped down to the Twilight's castle as fast as she could. “They're here they're here!” she yelled as she arrived at the main entrance, dashed inside to the main foyer and stopped on the proverbial bit. Her head craned around. “They're here, and they're all big and important-looking and one of them's got the best ears!”

High above, Rainbow Dash flew around with Ditzy Doo, the pair hanging a large banner from the ceiling. Rainbow Dash looked down at her friend. “Best ears? What in the–Ditzy, watch out!”

Ditzy's eyes focused on Rainbow Dash as she flew backwards towards a chandelier. “Watch out for–” She smacked into the chandelier, sending it rattling back and forth. “Oops, I got it!” She dropped her end of the banner, turned around and wrapped her forelegs around the chandelier. She flapped her wings, sending her and the chandelier swinging.

Pinkie Pie's right ear flopped down. She raced forward as Applejack emerged from another door, tackling her to the ground. The two earth ponies rolled around and and behind a table. “Land's sake, Pinkie!” Applejack shouted, disentangling her limbs from Pinkie Pie's. “What in tarnation–” Her tirade was cut off as the chandelier crashed to the floor, splintering into hundreds of crystalline shards that sprayed into the air.

Applejack covered her head with her forelegs. She finally looked up and over the table, then back down at Pinkie Pie. “I meant to say, much obliged.” She looked up at Ditzy and shook a hoof at her. “Ditzy, what in the hay?”

Ditzy scratched the back of her head. “Sorry, Applejack. I tried to catch it.”

Pinkie Pie's eyes darted back and forth. She shot off, zooming all about the castle. Forty-five seconds later, she ran back in, stopping right where she had taken off from. “Where's Fluttershy? I thought she'd be here to help out?”

Rainbow Dash floated down. “Mystery of the day, Pinkie. She was with Rarity for their spa appointment this morning, but then Angel ran in, chittered or something, and she said she had to run back to her cottage.”

Applejack gasped. “Consarnit, you think Discord's up to something?”

Pinkie Pie ran out, then back in. “No chocolate rain, and everyone's limbs are at their right length. Maybe he's behaving himself?”

Rainbow Dash, Applejack and Ditzy all looked at each other, then to Pinkie Pie, their eyes narrowing. Pinkie Pie let out a sigh. “Yeah... it sounded silly to me, too.”

Fluttershy flew to her cottage at the edge of the Everfree Forest, trailing behind Angel. “Angel, please, there's so much to do back at the castle for the welcome party Pinkie's planned for the visitors. This had better... be...” She trailed off as she turned a bend in the trail and her cottage came into view.

A large water fountain stood next to the front porch. A statue of Discord stood in the center, arms splayed out and water streaming from its mouth. Angel hopped over to the fountain, chittered, and kicked at the fountain. He let out a shriek and jumped up and down, holding his rear paw.

Fluttershy flew up to the statue's face and crossed her forelegs. “Discord, what are you doing? The nice people from the Federation are going to be here any minute, if not already! We'd really like your help, so could you please stop fooling around?”

Discord's stone head slowly turned. He arched an eyebrow, the scrapping of stone against stone sending birds flying and Fluttershy wincing. “My dear, it's precisely because of the people from the Federation that I'm here and like this.”

A voice from behind caught their attention. “I'd leave him to sulk, Fluttershy. Dear Discord gets so upset so easily. It's rather unbecoming of such a supposedly-evolved being.”

Fluttershy swung about in midair. She spotted what looked like a human, sitting at a table,underneath a sun umbrella. He wore a red shirt with a pin shaped like the Starfleet arrowhead. He raised his glass and cocked his head to the side. “Well, don't just stand there, Discord. Introduce me! Isn't that what friends do?”

Discord flashed and turned to flesh once more. He shot into the sky, dwindling to a dot, before turning and flying straight down to the man. The air trembled and vibrated as he picked up speed, a sonic shockwave building around him. About two feet above the table, he spun about, threw his legs out and slowed down within the span of ten inches. He stopped right above another chair and slowly floated down into it. Discord extended his lion's paw across the table. “Q! How marvelous it is to see you! What's shaking, other than the galaxy when we're together?”

Q chuckled. He put his teacup down and shook Discord's proffered paw. “Oh, not much. Just thought I'd drop by good old Equus and see how an old colleague is doing.” He leaned to his left and looked at Fluttershy. “Now, why don't you introduce me to your friend?”

Discord leaned to his right, blocking Q's view. “Oh, her? S-she's just someone I t-talk to from time to time. Randomly.”

Q rolled his eyes. “Rest assured, Discord. I've had my own moment of humility, at least along my personal timeline. She's quite safe.”

Discord spun about, wrapped his arm around Fluttershy's shoulders and pulled her forward. “Q, this is Fluttershy. Fluttershy, this is Q. His people are called the Q, and he hails from the ever-so imaginatively named Q Continuum.” He looked Q over. “By the way, you're a century too early with that uniform. Having tea with mon capitaine again?”

Q looked himself over. “Ah, you're right.” He stood up and snapped his fingers. His top changed to a gold-colored shirt, the Starfleet symbol now embroidered over his left breast. Q tugged at the long sleeves and nodded. “Hmm, retro, but it fits well. Clean lines, too.” He sat back down. “So, to get back, what's upset you so? Afraid Klingon opera's gonna become the new popular singing style around here?”

Discord waved him off. “Believe me, Q. I'd love nothing more for some variety among the music here. The same peppy stuff can get a little wearing.” He looked to Fluttershy. “No offense, my dear. You can make it work, at least.”

Fluttershy smiled at him. “None taken.”

Discord slumped in his chair. “I'm a little nervous. You see, a certain captain of a certain starship Enterprise is here. And he's started to get a bit of a reputation among our kind. I'm sure you've heard about him.”

Q shrugged. “Here and there. Trelane's parents think he did wonders for the little brat. The Organians are rethinking him after he and some Klingon captain had a spat with a windigo last year.”

Fluttershy gasped and flew forward, Discord restraining her from actually flying into Q's face. “A w-w-windigo? How did they do it?”

Q tilted his head to the side. “They refused to play its game and laughed it away.” He motioned to Fluttershy. “Now drink up before your root beer loses its fizz.”

Fluttershy looked to Discord for a second. “Wait, what–” She looked down as a sudden weight hung from her right foreleg. She slowly lifted it up, the handle of a mug of root beer slid onto it. “Oh, my! When did I get this?”

Q saluted Fluttershy with his teacup before taking a sip. He frowned as Discord glared at him. “Oh, come on! There's nothing wrong with a little bit of root beer between friends. And we're all friends here, right? Now as I was saying, I really think it'd do you a multiverse of good to get out and meet Kirk and his crew. They'll find out about you eventually, so why not do it on your own terms?”

Discord slammed his paw into the table, sending forth streams of chocolate confetti. “You're right, Q! No need to be shy! Why ten minutes with me and both crews will have a time they'll never forget!”

Q arched an eyebrow. “I wouldn't go that far. Just show up, say some nice things, don't act too out of line.”

Discord's expression fell to the table. He placed a paw on his chest. “Moi? I'll be the picture of refinement!” He snapped his talons and vanished in a flash of custard.

Q looked to Fluttershy. “Well, my dear. Could I interest you in a tour of the galaxy? I promise, no harm will come to you! I'll have you back in plenty of time to meet the Federation and Klingon crews.”

Fluttershy swallowed and looked down to her half-empty mug of root beer. “I don't know, Mister Q. I've got a lot to do back at the castle.” She suddenly gasped and bolted into the air. “Oh, my gosh! I'm late! Everyone is going to be so... so peeved at me!” She shrunk down into herself and blushed. “Pardon the Prench.” She waved to her cottage. “If you need anything the door's unlocked. Help yourself!” And with that, she flew off.

Q rubbed his chin, but shook his head. “Hmm, no. It wouldn't be good to take advantage of such kindness. If Discord likes her, and she's managed to tame the beast, no need to push any luck.” He stood up and tugged down on the front of his shirt. “I'd better be off, anyway. Things to do, lessons to teach.” Q snapped his fingers and he, the table, and chairs, all vanished.

The two chariots flew over the bustling metropolis of Canterlot, passing by gleaming towers and onion-shaped domes. Kirk let out a sigh. “Like out of a... fairy tale, Bones. Complete with princesses and magic.”

Bones chuckled. “You forget, Jim. Those fairy tales had wicked stepmothers and monsters.”

Kirk nodded as they flew towards a rather large castle and descended towards the front entrance. The pegasi touched down at the foot of a long staircase that led up to two golden double-doors. Stallions in plate armor and wielding spears, swords, shields and crossbows lined the stairs and milled about, some casting suspicious glances at the chariots.

Twilight Sparkle touched down and trotted over to Kirk and Bones' chariot, even as they unbuckled themselves. Her horn glowed and the back door opened, allowing them to walk out. “I'm really sorry about what happened up there,” she said, blushing. She looked back to her wings and sighed. “Maybe next time I'll teleport us all up here. I trust my horn more than my wings.”

Kirk arched an eyebrow. “Oh? Any particular reason why, Princess?”

Twilight shrugged. “Oh, I only got my wings about a year and a half ago.” She stretched them out. “I'm a lot better than when Rainbow Dash had to give me flying lessons for the first month or so.”

Bones' jaw worked to the side. He pulled his tricorder from around his shoulder, flipped the top open and pulled out a small scanner. “Your highness, would it be alright if I took some scans of you with my tricorder?”

Twilight slowly walked forward. “A tri... corder? What does it do, Doctor? Is it some sort of recording device?”

Bones dropped to one knee. “It scans your body and gives me information on it. Heart rate, temperature, nervous system, the works.” He turned the scanner around and waved it over his head and upper body. “You won't feel a thing. I promise.”

Kirk leaned down and looked at the tricorder's screen. “Bones, I think your blood pressure's a bit elevated.”

Bones turned his head and glared at Kirk. “You're still due your annual physical, Captain. Don't make me pull rank on you!”

Spock and Uhura walked over from their own chariot. “Doctor, I do not believe it is wise to remind the captain of his medical appointments in the middle of first-contact procedures.”

Bones slowly stood and directed his glare at Spock. “I was simply exercising my duties as chief medical officer to remind Captain Kirk of necessary appointments, Mister Spock, nothing more. I'm sure Princess Sparkle would appreciate my concern for the captain's welfare.”

Uhura stepped between the two and held her hands up. “Okay, you two. Let's simmer down, the both of you.” She looked down at Twilight and swallowed. “My apologies, your highness. Mister Spock and Doctor McCoy are both rather... passionate and can let their tempers flare.” She narrowed her eyes and looked from one to the other. “And they're both very sorry for acting like this in public.”

Twilight waved her off. “Not a problem, Commander. They actually remind me a bit of some of my own friends.” She rubbed her chin. “I think I know how to help them get along better... but we'll save that for later.” She floated her clipboard out of her saddlebag once more and looked it over. “Now, the Klingon delegation's already arrived and should be in the throne room. Once you enter, Celestia, Luna and Cadance will come in and greet you all on equal footing.” She turned and trotted up the stairs. “Right on schedule, excellent!”

Kirk rose and flashed a smile. “Thank you, Princess.” He started up the stairs, the other three by his sides. “Opinions?”

Spock pursed his lips. “I do not believe the Equestrians mean us any harm, Captain. Princess Sparkle seems most sincere in her wish to open dialog with us and 'become friends', as she's said. I am, however, concerned that we do not know the identity of the Klingon's representative.”

Kirk held up a hand. “I think I have an idea who it is. You remember the name of the battlecruiser in orbit?”

Uhura spoke up. “ K'naiah's Pride, Captain. If I remember, that's a proper name.”

Kirk nodded to her. “Excellent ear as always, Commander. I've done some research, and that's the name of a relative of an... acquaintance of ours from the Empire.” He stopped as the double-doors swung open. They walked down a short hallway, past some rather impressive stained-glass windows, through another set of doors, and entered the main Throne Room.

Ponies were scattered about, clustered in small groups. Most of them wore fancy clothing or some sort of adornment in their mane or tail. Near the back was a pair of thrones set against the wall. Near the doors stood three Klingons, two instantly recognizable to the Starfleet officers, and the third at least somewhat familiar.

Captain Kang of the Klingon Defense Force looked up and locked eyes with Kirk. He broke from the other two and strode up to Kirk. “So, the Federation sends the one Starfleet captain, the one human... I respect.” He thumped his chest, then shot his clenched fist into the air in salute. qaleghqa'mo' jIQuch, James Kirk, son of George Kirk!”

Kirk returned the salute. “Greetings, Kang, son of K'naiah.”

Kang looked Kirk over. “I am... honored that you know my father's name, Kirk. A little surprised, but honored.”

Kirk spread his arms out. “There's an old saying. 'If you know the enemy and you know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles'.”

The other two Klingons walked up to Kang's side. One of them rubbed his chin. “That's very similar to one of our own proverbs, Captain.”

Kirk looked to him. “That particular quote was from a warrior-philosopher known as Sun Tzu, from Earth's past.”

The Klingon grinned. “There may be hope for your people yet, Captain!”

Kang motioned to him. “My first officer, Kina, whom you may remember from nearly being enslaved by that hate entity.” His face grew hard. “I kept together the survivors of my previous command. It was the least I could do for them.” He turned to the other and his expression softened. “And of course you remember my wife and the ship's chief science officer, Mara.”

Mara nodded to Kirk and the others. “Captain Kirk, with your permission, I'd like to confer with Mister Spock later today about some rather... pressing matters.”

Spock arched an eyebrow. “Are you referring to the rather... fascinating layout of this star system?”

Bones slapped his forehead. “Dear god, he said 'fascinating'. We're all doomed.”

Mara studiously ignored Bones and kept her focus on Spock. “A geocentric star system, Mister Spock! In all my years, I've never seen anything like it. If this actually occurred naturally, I'll... I'll let myself be covered up to my neck in tribbles!”

Bones opened his mouth, but Kirk held a hand up in front of his face. “Bones... not now.” He looked to Kang. “I have no objections to the two working together, but if they do, there can be no secrets or unreported discoveries... on either side.”

Kang slowly nodded. “I agree, Kirk. We are dealing with powerful beings, and after the hate entity and the Organians, I am a bit... wary of inciting their wrath.” He looked to Spock. “I grant you permission to work with Mara, but do not attempt any subterfuge. I am willing to cooperate, but only up to a point.”

Kirk let out a brief sigh. “Well, it's a... start, at least. Thank you, Kang.”

Twilight walked over to the group. By her side was Prince Blueblood. “So, how are things going?”

Kirk knelt down slightly. “Better than expected, Princess. Thank you.”

Mara walked around Kang and loomed over Twilight. “Princess, do you have any information on how your star system manages to maintain a geocentric orbit with a G-type main sequence star? How was this engineered?”

Twilight looked up to her, ears folding back. “W-well, to tell you the truth, Mara... up until meeting you, the idea of a heliocentric star system just seemed... odd, almost science-fiction.”

The stallion let out a sigh and tossed his muzzle into the air. “Your highness, please do not tell me you're actually buying their talk of planets going around stars. I mean, really! If they can't control the orbits of their stars, how do they plan out the weather-management properly?”

Kang growled and clenched his fists. “You would do well not to accuse my wife of lying!”

The color drained from Blueblood and he shrank down. “I-I w-was not accusing her of that! J-just merely expressing some... incredulity at the claims of planets going around stars. When all you've seen is Auntie Celestia controlling the sun for your entire life, the idea of it being the other way around just... it's just incredible!”

Twilight's eyes narrowed. “Blueblood, need I remind you of the videos the first-contact teams showed us?” Her mouth turned up. “If you'd like, think of how special we are, compared to the rest of the galaxy!”

Blueblood arched an eyebrow. “Well... if you put it that way...”

Kang and Kirk glanced to each other. “The ruler of this land is the one who controls the sun,” Kang said. He growled. “The name should have been a clue to me.”

Kirk rubbed his chin. “Well, that's... one than one mystery solved. Although it might create some more.”

Any more talk was halted as trumpets sounded out. Everyone turned as a pair of doors opened. “Presenting Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, and Princess Cadance!” a page shouted, as the three alicorns emerged, each one clad in glittering regalia from horn to hooves.

Kirk snapped his fingers. “Luna... the moon!” he half-whispered to Kang.

Every pony there, Twilight and Blueblood included, dropped down to their knees and bowed their heads. Celestia looked around and smiled. “Welcome, everyone! I'm glad to see you all here.” The crowds parted as she and Luna walked up to Kirk and Kang, Twilight and Blueblood backing off slightly. “Greetings, and welcome to Equestria.”

Kang stood up straight as they approached. “I am Captain Kang, along with my first officer Kina, and science officer Mara. We represent the Klingon Empire in these negotiations.” He thumped his chest and held his fist out in salute. “Glory, and honor to us all!”

Kirk bowed his head. “I am Captain James T. Kirk, representing the United Federation of Planets, along with my science officer Mister Spock, chief communications officer Nyota Uhura, and Doctor Leonard McCoy. We hope for a... mutually beneficial treaty to be signed and diplomatic relations to be opened between us.”

Luna approached, her expression cool. “A noble goal, Captain Kirk, but we are all too aware of the current state of hostilities between the Federation and Klingon Empire, of planets used as proxy battlegrounds by you.” She stepped back and her horn lit up. A small map of the Neutral Zone between the Federation and Klingon Empire appeared. Small flashes of light blossomed and died in the blackness. “Mark my words, gentlemen. We have the means to defend ourselves if either of you become hostile.”

Celestia smiled. “Hopefully it won't come to that. Both of you seem reasonable enough to avoid any unwise actions.” Her eyes narrowed by the slightest of margins. “But we will be watching, just in case.”

Kang rubbed his chin. “I do not think we have any means to combat the sun or moon being used against us. I swear upon my honor, Princesses, that my crew will not cross any lines set by you. We may... stretch them a bit, but we will not cross them.”

Kirk held his right hand up. “I too swear upon my honor that the crew of the Enterprise will behave itself.” He looked to Kang. “And I... trust you on your word, Kang.”

Celestia and Luna exchanged a glance and nodded to each other. “Excellent,” Celestia said, beaming. “There will be a formal dinner here in Canterlot tonight at six o’clock, local time. In the meanwhile, the crew of your ships are free to come down, explore Equestria, make friends!” She looked to Twilight. “I know of someone rather… knowledgeable in that last field.”

Mara grunted. “Yes, ‘friends’.”

Kirk turned to Spock and stepped in close. “Spock, I’m sorry, but I need you on the bridge, working with Mara on this… mystery of a star system. I meant what I said to Kang about trust. No secrets between you on this matter.”

Spock nodded. “Understood, Captain. I find this mystery to be most intriguing.”

Kirk looked over as Kang, Mara, and Kina approached. “My bridge is... your bridge, Mara.”

Kang glanced to his left. “Mara, go to your science station at the Pride’s bridge and copy every log, every scan you’ve taken of this star system since we entered sensor range, then go to the Enterprise. Kina, organize the crew for shore-leave rotations. Make sure you’re on the list.”

Kina and Mara saluted Kang. While they beamed up, Kang looked to Kirk. “I wonder what sort of food… ponies eat.”

Kirk scratched his head. “A good question, Kang. I worked on a ranch back in Iowa, but I’m not sure how… close to them Equestrians are, biologically-speaking.” He looked over. “Bones, get some scans done, if you can. Uhura, work on their language.” He slipped his communicator out of his belt and flipped it open. “Enterprise.”

“Lieutenant M’ress here, Captain.”

“Lieutenant, announce shore-leave for the crew. Also, let Sulu know that Mister Spock will be collaborating with science officer Mara from the K'naiah's Pride. She’s to be allowed full access to the sensor logs. Kirk out.”

Twilight tilted her head, finally speaking up. “Captain Kirk? Captain Kang? If neither of you have any duties at the moment, I’d love to take you on a tour of my castle, and of Ponyville. I think both of you would find it really enlightening and fun!”

Kang and Kirk exchanged a look. “I suppose it would be the best use of my time,” Kang said.

Kirk knelt down and held his arms out. “I would be… honored to take a tour of your castle, Princess.”

Twilight smiled. “Thanks, but please. Just call me Twilight, okay? My friends do.”

Kirk nodded. “All right… Twilight.”

Twilight waved them closer with her wings. “Okay, I can teleport all three of us right to my castle’s gate. It’ll be just like your transporters, and a lot faster than chariot,” she said, winking at Kirk.

Kang took a step back. At Twilight’s expression, he motioned to Kirk. “The last time he and I were transported together, it did not end so well for me.”

Kirk rolled his eyes and looked over his shoulder. “Come on, Kang. We were both influenced by that hate entity. Besides, we worked it out in the end.” He waved him forward.

Kang growled, but knelt beside Kirk. “Very well, but mark my words, Princess. I’ll be on guard when we arrive for any trickery.”

Twilight’s horn lit up. “No trickery, Captain. I swear on my honor.” All three were enveloped by a flash of light. When it faded, they were gone.

Author's Note:

1. Thanks to sun Tzu and RainbowDoubleDash for their help on this chapter. :)

2.I am rather... not fond of the 'Qi is Discord' fanon.[/ends_discussion]

3. Guess who Kirk has to duel later on. Go ahead. Guess.

4. Kina is based off of Crewman 15 from the episode Day of the Dove. He was played by Mark Tobin.