• Published 8th Sep 2016
  • 12,348 Views, 1,175 Comments

Where No Pony Has Gone Before - RK_Striker_JK_5

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

  • ...

Chapter Five

Uhura stood in front of a large mural, her eyes narrow as she took in every detail of it, from the armor-clad ponies jousting, to the archaic script that twisted and flowed along its edges. She raised a finger to it, stopping just short of touching the paint. “Let me see, here. 'And the brave knights strode forth to battle the Ursa Minor.'” Her eyes flicked up. “Ah, star bear.” She paused. “Wait, 'star bear'?”

“Is there something amiss?”

Uhura turned around at the voice. She glanced down, spotting a unicorn stallion and unicorn mare standing behind her. The stallion wore a suit jacket and tie, with a monocle that floated a few inches above his muzzle. The mare was lanky, almost willowy, and carried herself with an aura of confidence and grace.

The stallion bowed his head. “Ah, terribly sorry, Commander Uhura. How rude of me.” He extended a foreleg. “My name is Fancy Pants. My wife Fleur Dis Lee and I couldn't help but overhear you.” His monocle swung around and floated up towards the mural itself. “Ah, I remember this one! From the era of the Three Tribes. Sir Bill the Brave, if I'm not mistaken.”

Uhura looked back to the mural. “Ah, yes. Sir Bill the Brave, and his good friends, Sam the Wise and Frozen Door. It reads that they fought a 'star bear'. Do you have any idea what they could be referring to?”

Fancy Pants' monocle swiveled to face Uhura. “My dear, are you actually able to read that?”

Uhura nodded. “Well, it's a little difficult, Mister...”

Fancy Pants chuckled. “Oh, just call me Fancy Pants. But as I was saying, you're really able to read that?”

Uhura rubbed her chin. “Well, there's more than a bit of extrapolation. From my research, your modern language appears to be a merger of several languages, related but still distinct from one another.”

Fleur nodded. “The languages of the Three Tribes merged together after the first Hearth's Warming. There are still some terms distinctive to pony type, but by and large we all speak the same language.”

Uhura nodded. “That makes sense–horns and wings would leave some lingering slang and phrases. There’s also how your senses would differ. Pegasi and wind currents, unicorns and their horns, and earth ponies and hooves”

Fancy Pants' brow furrowed. “Tell me, how long have you been able to study our language?”

Uhura shrugged. “Oh, not long. Maybe three or four hours, when I wasn't helping Doctor McCoy with some of his medical examinations.”

Fancy Pants and Fleur stared up at Uhura, mouths agape. “T-three or four hours?” Fancy Pants asked.

Uhura sighed. “Admittedly, it's not my usual speed. I'm still a little iffy on vocalization. There are some structural differences between our throats, for example, that make it difficult.”

Fleur leaned forward. “Is there... any chance we could hear you speak without those machines we've heard of?” She held up a hoof. “I swear, we won't laugh.”

Uhura glanced down, her eyes half-closed. She suddenly looked up, pressed the fingers of her right hand to her throat, and began to speak. Melodious words came out, rising and falling in pitch. [Hello I am happy to be speak-singing with you. The eels of the Federation of Worlds say hello!] She stopped speaking, her brow furrowed. “Wait a minute... no. I think I said 'eels' there, didn't I.”

Fancy Pants bit his lip, but the mildest of chuckles came out. He waved a foreleg in the air. “My apologies, Commander,” he finally said, his cheeks turning red. “In all seriousness, that you can actually read and speak our language so well after a few hours of study is remarkable!”

Uhura flashed a brilliant smile at him. “Thank you, Fancy Pants.” She looked back to the mural. “So... 'star bear'? Would you happen to know what that would refer to?”

Fleur trotted up to the mural and looked the images over. “Well, it's probably referring to the tale of their fight against an Ursa Minor. I seem to recall reading about that in school, but for the life of me I can't recall the exact details.”

Uhura looked from the mural to Fleur. “So, this is an actual animal that's native to the planet?”

Fleur nodded, smiling. “Oh, yes. They spend a lot of time hibernating, but if you wake one up, it can get very nasty very quickly. Last time I heard about one being woken up was about...” She looked to Fancy Pants. “Four years ago, in Ponyville?”

Fancy Pants nickered. “Ah, yes. I remember reading about that little incident in the next day's briefings. Ponyville was very lucky Princess Sparkle was there to placate it and send it back to its mother.”

Uhura looked at the writing on the mural and squinted. “This mentions something about a major problem. Wait, no. Not a problem. A larger... is that mentioning another bear?”

Fancy Pants chuckled lightly. "Yes, it's referring to the adult form of the bear, the Ursa Major. That one can cradle the Ursa Minor like a mother would cradle their foals. Positively gargantuan!”

Fleur shuddered and kicked at the floor. “I'm not sure anyone's seen an Ursa Major in living memory, barring either Celestia or Luna. And I'm fairly sure that's a good thing, too” She looked to Uhura. “Have you encountered any large beasts in your travels among the stars?”

Uhura nodded, half-smiling. “Oh, there have been a few here and there. Some were friendly, others not so much.” Her head rose as the band started playing once more. “What lovely music!”

Fancy Pants and Fleur followed her gaze. “Ah, yes, Octavia Philharmonic,” Fleur said. “One of the rising stars in the Canterlot music scene. She's quite brilliant and skilled.”

Uhura and the two ponies started moving towards the stage. By then Octavia's bow moved furiously across the strings, her head down and movements precise. Her bandmates somehow managed to keep up, all their movements in sync as they produced beautiful music.

Uhura slowly knelt down and leaned in close to Fancy Pants. “Pardon me for asking, but how does she hold onto the bow with hooves?” She looked back up at the band. “Or for that matter, manipulate the strings?”

Fancy Pants chuckled. He held up his own foreleg and waved it back and forth. “An earth pony channels their magic not through a horn or wings, but through their hooves. They're also quite a bit more flexible than they appear to be.”

The band finished their piece. Uhura stood up and clapped, while the others around her stomped their hooves. Very quickly, she stomped her a foot up and down.

Another unicorn mare walked over to Uhura's side opposite Fancy Pants and Fleur and looked down at her feet. “I say, how do you manage to keep your balance like that?”

Uhura stopped stomping in applause. “Oh, it's not that hard, Miss...”

The mare chuckled and bowed her head. “My apologies, Miss Uhura. I'm Lyrica Lilac. It's a pleasure to meet you.” She glanced at the mural. “I overheard you speaking our language. Remarkable!”

Uhura knelt down to Lyrica's level. She held out her fist, allowing Lyrica to bump it. “Thank you. Please call me Nyota. Hopefully over the next few days I can figure out how to say the word 'worlds' instead of 'eels'.”

Lyrica opened her mouth, silent for a moment, before laughing. “I look forward to that! And please, call me Lyrica.”

Fancy Pants walked forward and turned to face Lyrica. “Enjoying yourself, my dear?”

Lyrica smiled as she regarded Fancy Pants. “Quite so, dear Fancy. I must admit, I'm rather concerned about being stuck between the Federation and Klingon Empire.” Her head shot up. “Ah... no offense, Nyota. But it's still a bit... nerve-wracking.”

Uhura let out a sigh. “I can't blame you for that, Lyrica. Even the current cold war between our governments can flare up. I can only assure you, the Federation will respect any decisions made by your government.”

Lyrica nodded slightly. “Thank you, Nyota, for that. I only hope the Klingons will respect it, too.”

Uhura's eyes lifted and she focused on a group of Klingons near the stage, looking up as Octavia began another song. “Well, Kang will. And if they're smart and don't want their fleets swallowed by a solar flare, they'll abide, too.”

Scotty, Chekov, and Sulu walked up to a buffet table. Scotty looked over a punch bowl filled with cider and groaned. “Ach, this is ridiculous! Don't they have anything stronger than this dressed-up water?” He unclipped a flask from his kilt's sporran, unscrewed the stopper and took a swig. “Ah, now that's better!”

Chekov rolled his eyes. “Bah, whiskey? Little old ladies in Leningrad brew that. They need vodka!”

Sulu slapped his forehead. “Do you two have to do this every time alcohol's involved?”

Scotty waved him off. “'Tis a matter of pride, Sulu! I won't have that mother's milk touted over the finest liquor in the galaxy!”

Rainbow Dash flew over and jabbed a hoof at Scotty's flask. “Hey, what's in that?”

Scotty and Chekov looked to each other. Scotty held up the flask and looked it over. “This, lassie, is whiskey. It's a might stronger than the cider in that bowl.”

Chekov rubbed his chin. “Miss Dash, do you think you could help Mister Scott and I in an experiment?”

Sulu interjected himself between Rainbow Dash and his fellow officers. “Okay, now hold on, you two. You are not getting anyone drunk in order to settle this damned grudge between you.”

Rainbow Dash groaned. “Okay, fine! Listen, there's a bar at the edge of Ponyville called the Punch Bowl. I'll be done my weather-patrol duties tomorrow by about one o'clock, so why not stop by there a little after with whatever you've got? Hay, I’ll even pick up Applejack. This Cider is from Sweet Apple Acres.”

Scotty rubbed his chin. “Well, I think I can swing by after visiting that rock farm or whatever it was with Ensign Naraht. All right, lassie. You got yourself a deal.” He turned to Chekov. “Unless you're afraid, Mister Chekov, of finally being proven wrong?”

Chekov scowled. “Nyet, Mister Scott!”

A small group of Klingons walked over. “Whiskey? Vodka? Why not let her and the others taste some real drinks?” the leader, a rather stocky Klingon with a bald head but rather thick beard, said. “I have a vat of blood wine aboard the Pride, and I will place that against anything you two earthers bring down from the Enterprise.”

Scotty sidestepped Sulu and approached the Klingons. “Aye, lad? Yah think so?”

The Klingon held up a hand. “Let us not get violent here, Mister Scott, or at this Punch Bowl. I was one of the survivors of Captain Kang's former command, the Voh'tahk. Let us wage our battle with drinks this time around.”

Scotty looked to Sulu, then Chekov, then back to the Klingon and smiled. “Aye, I think that'd be a wonderful idea...”

“Kellett, son of Grix,” he said. “Chief engineer of the K'naiah's Pride.”

Scotty leaned his head back slightly. “An honor to meet you, Mister Kellett.” He looked to Rainbow Dash. “Any objections, Miss Dash?”

Rainbow Dash shook her head. “No way, Mister Scott.” She rubbed her front hooves together and cackled. “I'm looking forward to this, now!”

Kellett exchanged a glance with his compatriots. Then tomorrow we meet on my... preferred field of battle.” He thumped his chest before turning and walking off.

Scotty leaned over and glanced back at Chekov. “Laddie, break out the saurian brandy. The pride of the Enterprise is on the line, and I'll be damned if we lose to the Klingons over this!”

Celestia, Luna and Twilight wandered through the main hall, their course seemingly random, but carefully laid out so they could see the maximum number of guests in the minimum amount of time. They exchanged small talk for the most part, some conversations taking a deeper turn. They eventually came upon Kirk, Spock, and Bones, the trio standing near a balcony. “Enjoying yourselves, gentlemen?”

Kirk looked up and raised a glass. “Quite an... informative party so far, your highness.” He motioned to Bones. “My chief medical officer's been filling me on on some examinations he's done on some of your citizens.” He then waved to Spock. “My first officer has also told me about some rather... unique properties of the Equus System, as compared to others we've been to.”

Luna laughed. “I presume you speak of it being a geocentric star system, as opposed to heliocentric?” She looked to Spock, her expression softening. “We've overheard your reluctance to broach the subject, Mister Spock. We appreciate your respect, but it is unnecessary. If you and Mara have questions, then please ask.”

Bones smirked behind a glass. “Might not want to have said that, Princess. Once Mister Spock gets started asking questions, we could be here all week.”

Spock rocked slightly on his heels. “I am sorry my curiosity upsets you, Doctor. Shall we use small words so as not to confuse you?”

Bones rolled his eyes. “Well, Mister Spock. That almost sounds like an emotional response. How very human of you.”

Spock arched an eyebrow. “There is no need for insults, Doctor. I was merely inquiring how you wished for us to proceed.”

Twilight's head whipped back and forth between the two. “Are you two... really okay? You seem really argumentative, even more so than before.”

Kirk held his arms out. “You'll have to forgive them, Twilight. Bones and Spock mean well, but their personalities are so... extreme to each other, clashes are inevitable between them.”

Twilight rubbed her chin, her eyes still darting back and forth. “If you say so, Captain. Still, you two did seem to fall into arguing pretty quickly.”

Bones held up a hand. “Now, Princess, things might seem a bit extreme between Mister Spock and I, but in all honesty we do respect each other.”

Spock nodded. “That is true, Princess Sparkle. It is simply that I find Doctor McCoy to be somewhat... emotional. Vulcans pride themselves on emotional control. Logic and rational, controlled thought are among the cornerstones of our society.”

Bones smiled. “It's harmless overall, your highness. Nothing to worry about.”

Twilight eyed Bones and Spock. “Right, sure.” She stepped back and bowed her head. A clipboard and quill popped into existence in front of her face.

Bones stared at Twilight as she wrote. “Why did I just get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach?”

Luna slowly nodded as Spock spoke. “I… see.” At Bones’ look of confusion, she shrugged. “Such thoughts to rein in emotion like that are, admittedly, quite alien to Equestrians. We can be very expressive.” She bowed her head. “I hope this does not offend you, Mister Spock.”

Spock shook his head. “Negative, your highness. Vulcans practice a philosophy known as IDIC, or Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. We celebrate the vast array of variables in the universe.”

Spock looked to Celestia. “As I was about to begin, your highness, the setup of your solar system is geocentric, which goes against all known cosmological models of solar systems. Do you know how such a thing is possible? And if so, can you also illuminate us on how it came to be?”

Celestia nodded. “I would be happy to talk to you about that, Mister Spock.” She turned and looked over her shoulder, eyes narrowing as she scanned the crowd. “However, I don't think it would be fair to say anything without your Klingon counterparts here.”

While Celestia searched, Bones spoke up. “Begging your pardon, your highnesses, but I do have two questions, if I may.”

Spock arched an eyebrow. “You have questions, Doctor?”

Bones ignored Spock as he continued. “Well, first off, the food's quite good. Compliments to your chefs. I was just curious, why such an informal setting?”

Luna turned partially around and extended a wing towards the main hall. “You mean, why buffett and no formal seating arrangement at tables? We Equestrians are communal. Most of the time, we feel better being able to mingle among our friends and family.”

Kirk nodded. “That makes sense. On Earth, we too have horses. Non-sapient as compared to Equestrians. They're... herd-animals, tending to live in groups.”

Twilight looked up from her clipboard. “Sounds a lot like how we are, Captain. No matter what you're doing, it's more fun with a friend.”

Celestia let out a small gasp. “Ah, found them!” She waved a wing towards the far end of the room. Kang and Mara stood near a large painting, looking up at it. Mara would occasionally point at it, while Kang nodded every time she spoke.

Celestia looked to Luna, then the others. “If you'll excuse me, I'll go ask them to join us.” With that, she walked off.

Spock arched an eyebrow. “Fascinating. I would have expected her to send an aide to retrieve them, not go herself.”

Twilight grinned. “Princess Celestia likes to do things herself when possible. She doesn't like bothering others if it's something minor.”

Bones chuckled. “I knew there was something else I liked about her. Actually leads into my second question.”

Luna leaned her head forward slightly. “And what is this question, Doctor?”

Bones shrugged. “Well, just wondering why you're 'princesses' instead, I don't know, queen?”

Spock looked to him. “Interesting, Doctor. The same line of inquiry had also occurred to me.”

Bones barked a laugh and rocked on his heels. “Well, will wonders never cease?”

Spock arched an eyebrow. “Indeed, Doctor. There may be hope for you, yet.”

Luna half-smiled, even as Twilight looked back to her clipboard and resumed writing. “Both Celestia and I feel that the title of 'queen' would put too much of a distance between ourselves and others. Princesses can walk amongst the populace with a modicum of closeness and familiarity. Queens cannot.”

Any further conversation was cut off as a loud crash echoed through the main hall, silencing the band and any conversation. All heads turned to a table near the center of the hall. Rarity and Blueblood stood there, Celestia, Kang and Mara right by them. A large platter of hors d'oeuvre was on the ground, scattered and splattered on the carpet. Several of them were also stuck to Rarity's dress and Blueblood's tuxedo.

Blueblood shuddered and patted his tuxedo down with his hooves. “Oh, you clumsy foal! You've ruined my suit!”

Rarity's right eye twitched. She ground her teeth together, the scrapping of enamel audible to everyone in the hall. She opened her mouth, and with an exaggerated politeness, said, “Oh, please forgive me, Prince Blueblood. I didn't see I stood still and you backed into me, knocking me into the table and sending the platter flying. How clumsy of me!”

Blueblood jabbed a hoof at Rarity. “Don't try and deflect any blame! I...” His eyes narrowed and he leaned in close, causing Rarity to lean away. “Wait, I think I know you. Haven't I seen you somewhere before?”

Rarity's left eye joined her right in the twitching. “You can't be serious.”

Celestia stepped forward and dipped her head. “Are you two all right?”

Kang scowled. He stepped up to Celestia's side and crossed his arms, but remained silent for the time-being.

Luna turned around to face the escalating situation. She slapped her face with a hoof and slowly dragged it down.

Kirk looked to Spock, then Bones. “If you'll excuse me,” he said before breaking from the group and walking over.

Bones reached out and grabbed Kirk by the arm. “Jim, what in God's name do you think you're gonna accomplish over there?”

Kirk shrugged him off. “Hopefully heading off an interstellar incident.” He tugged down on his shirt before continuing over. “Is... there a problem?”

Blueblood's head shot up and his eyes narrowed. “Of course there's a problem!” He suddenly gasped. “Wait, I do know you!”

Rarity let out a sigh. “Finally.”

“You're one of those miscreants who ruined the Grand Galloping Gala a few years ago!” His eyes narrowed. “You got cake all over my suit!”

Rarity's eyes widened. “W-w-what?!” She let out a growl, causing Blueblood to flinch. “You used me as a shield to block that cake in the first place. And you acted like a boorish oaf the entire evening!”

Kirk dropped to one knee and held out his hands. “Now, if you both calm down and take a step back, I think–“

Blueblood waved him off. “Captain, this is none of your concern.”

Rarity rolled her eyes. “Afraid of someone impartial, Blueblood? You and I both know how the honorable Captain Kirk would view this.” She looked over to him, expression softening. “Captain, you do believe I would never be the instigator in any sort of altercation, do you?”

Kirk hesitated for a moment. “Rarity, I do wish to believe you, but I haven't–“

Blueblood's cheeks flushed red. “Y-you would believe her over me? How dare you!” He spun to his left, dragged his hoof along the floor and snorted. “I am Prince Blueblood, and I will be given the respect I deserve!”

Kang barked a laugh. “Respect is earned, not given, 'Prince'. I believe Kirk is giving you all the respect you deserve.”

Kirk looked up at Kang. “Kang...”

Blueblood lowered his head and jabbed his horn in Kirk's direction. “You spurious cur! I will not be insulted by you!” He pulled out a handkerchief from a pocket with his magic and threw it at Kirk, smacking him in the chest with it. “I challenge you to a duel!”

Kirk looked down at the handkerchief, then up at Blueblood. “I... don't think that would be wise in this case, your highness. The negotiations between Equestria and the Federation!” He held out his hands. “Do you... wish to endanger them like this?”

Blueblood's cheeks turned red. “Bah, you coward!”

Kirk's gaze drifted to Kang and Mara, who were both watching with increasing interest. He looked to Celestia. “Your highness?”

Celestia let out a sigh. “Captain... Blueblood is within his right to challenge you like this. And there's nothing I, Luna, Cadance or Twilight can do about it. This dates back to the Three Tribes, and we agreed not to interfere in duels. If it makes it any easier, this won't affect any negotiations.”

Kang spoke up. “He challenged you, Kirk. The only honorable thing to do is accept!”

Kirk rubbed his forehead. “Very well.” He picked the handkerchief up. “I... accept.”

Murmuring broke out among the spectators. Blueblood nodded. “Very well. We'll meet in Canterlot Castle in two days' time. Ready yourself!” With that, he spun about and trotted off.

Spock and Bones ran over to Kirk's side, while Uhura, Chekov, Scotty and Sulu also arrived. “Jim, that was a bad idea,” Bones said. “A duel? And you accepted?”

Kang walked over. “He did the only thing a man such as he can, Doctor.” He patted Kirk on the shoulder, sending him stumbling a bit. “Teach that targ a lesson!”

Celestia walked up to Kirk. “I am very sorry about my nephew, Captain. Sometimes I think he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.”

Kirk held up a hand. “Thank you, your highness. I will... keep that in mind.” He looked to his left. “Spock, I need everything you can dig up on these dueling traditions.”

Twilight teleported over. “Captain, may I be of assistance to Mister Spock? Duels nowadays are very rare, and I think he might need some assistance digging any information up in our libraries”

Kirk looked down and smiled. “Thank you, Twilight. That would be most... helpful. Mister Sulu, make sure all diplomatic and survey missions are continuing. I don't want any interruptions to our schedule. Commander Uhura, while you're not busy with their languages, please assist Spock and Twilight. I have a feeling your skills will be... most helpful.”

Bones spoke up. “And you, Jim?”

Kirk sighed and waved in the general direction of Blueblood's departure. “I'll be... trying to defuse the situation. Barring that, making sure I get out of this in one piece.” He looked around at his officers. “Dismissed.”

Author's Note:

1. Thanks to Talon and Thorn for pre-reading.

2. Yes. I will be portraying the Canterlot populace as, overall, good ponies with one or two bad eggs. It's how I've always seen them.

3. Place your bets, people. Kirk versus Blueblood.

4. Kellett is based off of Crewman 14, from the episode Day of the Dove. He was played by and named in honor of Pete Kellett.