• Published 26th Nov 2017
  • 3,685 Views, 111 Comments

On the Peak of Aris - milesprower06

With her first E.U.P. squad formed and beyond expectations, Captain Berrytwist now turns her attention to the wrongs she committed beyond Equestria.

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A Hoof Extended

Captain Fizzlepop Berrytwist stepped out into the castle foyer for the third time this morning, seeing the rays of the rising summer sun coming through the east windows. Princess Twilight liked to have them open at this time so the warm morning breeze could move through the castle. It was quite a welcome change from how stuffy it could get in here during the hottest of days.

Two more months had passed since the Ponyville E.U.P. had completed their barracks downstairs, and she was thrilled to have expanded the squad to twenty members. In that time, the castle upkeep had gotten much more routine, and Ponyville's already infinitesimal crime rate had been cut in half. Mayor Mare was ecstatic to say the least, and now they were in talks with moving all weather duties to pegasi members of the E.U.P.

She had even been writing bi-weekly letters to her old fillyhood friends in Vanhoover. The reunion in the castle library had been quite emotional, to say the very least. But thanks to them, she now wore the remains of her horn on a simple necklace. It reminded her where she came from, and just how far she had come.

The morning breeze moved through her mane and tail as she descended the center steps. Twilight, Starlight, and Spike were having breakfast, and she was completing another quick patrol of the castle before she'd report to the Princess of Friendship for any specific tasks that she would like to have done or at least started today. Fizzlepop was thrilled to have surpassed all of the Princess' expectations thus far.

Her front hooves had barely touched the ground floor before she heard a commotion from the two guards out on the front steps.

"Incoming!" She heard Lieutenant Thunderlane shout, followed a half-second later by a panicked "Look out!".

The large front doors of the castle burst open, and Captain Fizzlepop barely had enough time to raise her aetherial staff and fire up her horn. Her magic coursed through the conduit ring underneath her helmet and passed through the staff to the gem of aetherium at the tip. Magical energy surged forth from the gem and wrapped around the pegasus who had come careening through the front doors, and luckily slowed her to a halt before she collided with the stairs.

Taking a deep breath after the split-second reaction, the Captain looked at Ponyville's fastest mailmare; for better or worse. She quickly glanced past the now-stationary pegasus, and saw that Thunderlane had to nearly dive over the right banister of the front steps to avoid a collision. He had cleared it only halfway, and was now slumped over it.

"Derpy, you know how much I appreciate your expedient service, but maybe it would be a good idea for you to slow down just a little bit." Fizzlepop told her, releasing her magical hold on the pegasus.

"The Royal Express Mail slows down for nopony, Captain Berrytwist ma'am. This one is for you."

Derpy, now under her own wing power again, turned her head, and fetched a sealed scroll from her mailbag, giving it over to the guard captain. With that, she gave a salute and turned to leave the castle.

"You okay, Lieutentant?" Fizzlepop called outside, where Thunderlane pushed himself off of the banister and slumped down onto the stairs. He gave his Captain a nod, then shot Derpy an annoyed look as she floated by to continue her morning deliveries.

With that, Fizzlepop magically closed the doors, and turned her attention to the rolled and sealed scroll. She unfurled it, and began to read, her eyes and smile widening as she did so. After a minute of reading, she was now grinning wildly, and she turned towards the west wing and galloped towards the dining hall. As much as she wanted to burst in with the news, she recalled protocol, and excitedly knocked on the double doors leading to the dining hall.

"Princess Twilight, I have news!" She announced.

"Come on in, Captain." Came the reply from the Princess of Friendship. Fizzlepop opened the door and trotted over to where she and Spike were enjoying their own individual stacks of pancakes. She gave a crisp salute, and then levitated the scroll to Twilight's place at the table.

"We finally received a reply, Princess." Fizzlepop told her, unable to hide the excitement in her voice.

Twilight took a bite of pancakes, then levitated the scroll in front of her face and read:

To the Princess of Friendship and Ponyville E.U.P. Captain Fizzlepop Berrytwist,

I am pleased to confirm, following discussions between Princesses Celestia and Luna, myself, and Princess Skystar, that we would gladly accept your Captain's proposed assistance with our reconstruction efforts in Hippogriffia at Mount Aris. It is my hope that cooperation in this endeavor can lead to easing the somewhat strained diplomatic relations between our two kingdoms.

However, I must recommend that your party not travel lightly. Ever since the Storm King's defeat at Canterlot, his legions have splintered off into several independent raiding parties, and a few of these warlord-led mercenary groups have been spotted in our vicinity, in the Sea of Clouds, as well as in the Pine Needle Barrens. It has made getting supplies to the top of Mount Aris considerably more difficult. Please exercise caution, as we cannot guarantee your safety until you are within our gates.

Whenever and however you arrive, please see Captain Stratus Skyranger of the Queen's Guard at the front gate.

We look forward to this and future cooperative endeavors.

Queen Novo of the Hippogriffs

"Well what d'ya know. She actually agreed to it. Congratulations, Captain."

Fizzlepop smiled with pride.

"I hereby request permission to lead the expedition, Your Highness."

Twilight took another bite of pancakes and swallowed as she rolled up the scroll.

"Are you sure about that?"

"Yes, Your Highness. I'm responsible for what happened to Hippogriffia, and I would like nothing more than to see these rebuilding efforts firsthand. Also, if we get unlucky and encounter one of these warlord-led Storm Guard factions, nopony has more experience with them than I do."

"I mean are you ready to be away from the castle for that long?" Twilight said more specifically.

"I am completely confident in Commander Rainbow Dash's ability to take my place, Your Highness, and in her absence, in Lieutenant Amethyst Star's as well."

Princess Twilight seemed satisfied, levitating the rolled scroll back to her Captain.

"Then the expedition is yours, Captain. You may begin preparations immediately."

Fizzlepop smiled, gave a bow, and trotted out of the dining room. As soon as the doors were closed, she magically took hold of her staff and broke into a gallop, coming back out to the foyer in under a half minute.

"Commander Rainbow!" She called, and moments later, Rainbow Dash came through the front door, having been standing guard in the morning sun with Thunderlane.

"What can I do for you, Captain?" Rainbow asked, but the look on Fizzle's face told her everything she needed to know. She was looking forward to this as much as the Captain was.

"I know you're up for having the run of the squad to yourself, Rainbow, but some things have got to happen first, and fast. Have Lieutenant Rivet report to me immediately."

"Right away." Rainbow said, giving a salute. "What's next?"

"We've got an airship to hire. I need you to get me in touch with Captain Celaeno."