• Published 26th Nov 2017
  • 3,676 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.

  • ...

Setting Sail

"So I did hear Rainbow right. We're really doing this?" Lieutenant Rivet asked his commanding officer upon hearing the news down in the barracks.

"You heard her right, Lieutenant. That crane of yours is going to be essential in helping load and offload hauls from the quarry, and if we can attach it to Celaeno's ship, it'll make precise placement for rebuilding a breeze. You have your team selected?"

"I do, Captain; eight of my best workers; five earth ponies and three unicorns. We've already disassembled the crane and it's waiting to move to wherever Celaeno is scheduled to land. Once she's docked, we can have it assembled in a matter of hours, and be on our way."

"You've already got it disassembled?" Fizzlepop asked, amazed at the efficiency of his crew.

"We're not the number one construction outfit in the region for nothing, Captain. As soon as Commander Rainbow got word to me that we were headed for Aris, I had them start taking it apart before I left." Rivet told her.

"Excellent. How long can your crew be away from Ponyville?" She asked.

"I've got the rest of my crew covering the smaller jobs. For us, we don't have any major upcoming projects for the next two months. And I will add that my unicorns specialize in shield magic, usually in the case of protection due to structural failure. I only mention this because I've been made aware of the mercenary threat we potentially face. Rest assured, they're ready to defend at a moment's notice."

"You're putting my mind more at ease already, Lieutenant Rivet. Excellent thinking. Come on, let's go grab lunch."

The two officers hadn't even taken three steps towards the exit before Rainbow came in.

"Captain, you'll be pleased to know that Captain Celaeno has accepted our job offer, and will be docking in front of the Ponyville Dam in approximately 46 hours."

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say the two of you are after my job." Tempest smirked.

"Only if you're promoted to Princess, and honestly, if that happens, I'd never stop making fun of you." Rainbow shot back.

"Commander Te- er, Captain Fizzlepop. I have to admit, this is one of the more awkward jobs I've taken." Captain Celaeno greeted upon parking their ship at the Ponyville Dam. The canyon the dam was built into was the closest area that allowed easy airship docking other than Ghastly Gorge, and Fizzlepop wasn't in the mood to deal with quarray eels during the loading process. Celaeno hopped over the ship's wheel, jumped down onto the main deck, and deployed the ship's gangway out to the cliffside, where Captain Fizzlepop, Lieutenant Rivet, and his eight construction ponies were waiting.

"I'm glad we could come to an understanding, Captain Calaeno, and that we can put our... Unpleasantness... Behind us." Fizzlepop told her, as she shifted uneasily.

"Well, Princess Twilight and Rainbow Dash vouched for you, and you're paying top bit for this run, so that's good enough for me. The irony isn't lost on us either. Could've sworn we were done with deliveries after that song of hers."

"I doubt this will be as monotonous as it used to be. I trust you've heard of the Storm warlords wandering the sourthern regions?"

"That's precisely what we've been paid to deal with ever since leaving Canterlot with our new ship. Celestia was kind enough to give us the vessel, and included a Letter of Marque along with it. So we've been hunting Storm airships for the last four months on behalf of Equestria. We get a small cut of whatever plundered riches we find aboard, and Canterlot helps return the rest of it to the nations they stole it from. Best part is, we get full possession of any equipment we can successfully salvage. We managed to detach a pair of thrusters off of one two weeks ago. Can't wait to test those babies out."

"So from pirates to delivery birds to privateers." Fizzlepop commented. Celaeno gave a nod and smile.

"So I'm told we're attaching a crane to the deck, correct?"

"If we're able to, yes. If we can keep the method of loading and unloading in the air, I figure it'll cause minimal disruptions for their reconstruction."

"I'll let your ponies get to work, then. We can head south as soon as everything's secured. Feel free to familiarize yourself with the main deck, Captain."

As Celaeno walked away to oversee the crane rigging, Fizzlepop began to make her way to the bow of the ship.

"Well well, if it isn't Miss Change-of-Heart." A familiar voice said from up above her. She craned her neck up, and up in the crow's nest stood a slender furry figure. The first features she recognized were the green eyes and the long red coat underneath a black cape with purple accents.

"Well isn't this ironic. A cat acting as lookout for a crew of birds." Fizzlepop shot back, smirking up at him.

Capper Dapperpaws threw a tied rope out of the crows nest, took hold, and jumped out, grabbed the pole with one paw, and slid down to the deck, his feet landing with a light thud.

"What can I say? For standing up there, keeping an eye out, it pays well enough. And it gets me that much closer to recovering Abyssinia's stolen treasury. Certainly beats going back to my old ways in Klugetown. I assume I can say the same about you. Pretty slick armor you got there."

Captain Fizzlepop gave him a much more genuine smile this time.

"Thanks. So you're from Abyssinia?" She asked him.

"Indeed I am. I had the misfortune of being in Panthera when the Storm King invaded and made off with the entire treasury. That's why I'm here. Not only does it get me closer to recovering my nation's wealth, but every Storm airship we raid, that's more treasure returned to the southern nations where they came from."

Fizzlepop's expression changed to something more sorrowful, and Capper noticed immediately.

"Hey, don't worry about it. Panthera was years ago, long before you ever joined up. In fact, I'd wager that you're not responsible for almost all of the destruction he left in his wake."

"Thanks, but I've got my share of dirt on my hooves, and we're headed south to make amends."

"Captain Fizzlepop!" She heard an all-too familiar voice call from the cliffside. She looked off the starboard side to see Princess Twilight with a royal guard, but it wasn't anypony from her squad. She returned down the ship's gangway onto land while Rivet and his crew began to load and assemble the crane. She trotted down to where Twilight was standing, and went to attention.

"Captain, allow me to introduce Major Speartip, Diplomatic Advisor to Princesses Celestia and Luna."

With the hoof not holding her staff at attention, Fizzlepop gave a sharp, crisp salute to the Canterlot E.U.P. unicorn, as was customary towards a senior officer, no matter the division. Speartip immediately returned the gesture as a show of mutual respect.

"Pleased to meet you, Major. What can I do for you?" Fizzlepop greeted.

"Likewise, Captain Berrytwist. I understand that you've undertaken this expedition to aid in Hippogriffia's reconstruction efforts. I'm here to inform you that Princess Celestia wants to also treat this as a diplomatic mission, and has requested that I accompany your unit to advise on any situations of a diplomatic nature."

Princess Twilight eyed her Captain carefully. Princess Celestia had only made this request this morning, and she wasn't sure how Fizzlepop would react to a senior officer from another E.U.P. division accompanying her on this mission on such short notice.

"I welcome your assistance, Major. Honestly, I was a bit concerned about having to tiptoe around any of those potential situations. Although, I know the Canterlot E.U.P. is a pretty tight ship; though Lieutenant Rivet is the only other member of my squad accompanying me, I hope you don't find any of our informality off-putting." Fizzlepop cautioned. The Major appeared unfazed.

"Relax, Captain. I'm not here to step on any hooves. Princess Twilight has said nothing but good things about your outfit. My role here is purely advisory. I look forward to working with you in the coming days and weeks. I'll see myself on board." Speartip said, and left the Captain alone with her Princess.

"So, excited?" Twilight asked.

"Determined, more than anything, Your Highness. Outside of Equestria, Hippogriffia's destruction is what I'm most directly responsible for. I want to do whatever I can to make amends."

"Best of luck to you, Captain, and I look forward to your return. It won't be the same without you. I'm actually somewhat concerned that Rainbow is going to let the power go to her head. You mentioned your squad's informality to Speartip but who knows, you might come back to a fully-fledged 'tight ship'."

"I trust in your ability to reign her in if it comes close to that." Fizzlepop replied, laughing.

Twilight laughed along with her, and then broke formality herself as she came in and hugged her Captain.

"Be careful out there." She told her.

After a moment, Fizzlepop returned the hug, then they released.

"I'll be back before you know it."