• Published 4th Feb 2018
  • 1,485 Views, 208 Comments

My Little Destroyermen: Walker on Water - The Atlantean



The magic of a sudden squall is all that's needed to send Twilight Sparkle into an alternate world where everything wants to eat her. Along with the similarly displaced crew of USS Walker, she tries to survive the danger as it whittles their numbers.

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Chapter 5

Twilight slid into the number three gun’s trainer’s seat with an egg sandwich in her mouth. She gulped it down and spun the training wheel to train the gun out to starboard. Checking her aim through the scope, she held a thumbs-up ti Silva, who in turn checked the sight himself. The big gunner’s mate, satisfied, signaled Garrett that they were ready. In less than three minutes, it was obvious that all stations were ready.

“Hey, Chief, what’re we actually looking at?” he yelled so Gray could hear him over the blowers.

Garrett answered. “Skipper says there’s something north of us. Mark bearings one-five-nine, elevation… ten degrees. Match pointers!”

Twilight trained the gun to the selected bearing with some guidance from Silva since Spanky had just begun accelerating before the anchor was completely out of the water. Looking through the sight, she froze. That was impossible, wasn’t it? That couldn’t be the Mare.
Silva followed her gaze. “That is one black bi...scuit. Hot damn!”

“It’s… it’s… her.” Twilight could barely speak. Felts had to lean in just to hear her.

“It’s who?” he asked.

“Nightmare Moon.”

“And who in the godforsaken world is that?”

She forcibly calmed herself. “She’s--”

“I don’t care who she is,” Silva interrupted, “as long as she ain’t gonna try to kill us!”

“She just might do that.”

Before Silva could think of a witty reply, the salvo buzzer rang. He pulled the trigger and squealed with glee as the four-inch naval gun barked. Its loaded high-explosive round was spat out with an orange flame of contempt, and its breech popped open, the spent brass casing ejecting onto the deck below. Twilight yelped when the entire gun recoiled from the shot, but quickly recovered. Garrett called corrections, Felts slammed closed the loaded breech, and Silva fired again.

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Nightmare Moon hovered just over the choppy waves with dark blue magic swirling around her human fingertips. Her midnight skin and starry hair were results of her casting into this Celestia-damned world. No magic seemed to exist here for the longest time, then it revealed itself to her in all its glory. Of course a source of magic for the Caldera felt differently! She could sense it. The Element of Magic was here, in this world, without the others to assist. It was fearful and alone; she could taste it in the air. She took a sniff of the salty air and smiled. Caldera Island magic was here, too. Much of it was ruined beyond use, she felt, lying at the bottom of the sea. But some was here. With a chuckle, the Mare in the Moon contemplated how the Caldera got its magic. One of its secrets of the island was only revealed after she gained her immense power, and it was one even Celestia had reason to fear.

She continued gliding. Small, voracious fish danced in the sea below her, and it was exhilarating to watch them jump at her. She never let them reach her, however, and they fell back into the water to be consumed by their brethren, drawn by the splash.

Then she felt it. Something was wrong with it, like it forced nature to move it rather than allow her to guide. Machinery thrummed in the ocean swells as if it squeezed every last ounce of natural strength from its environment. Instinctively, she turned to investigate whatever desecrated the holy worlds of Caldera.

In the distance, she saw the ship. It was a sad, lonely affair, without a fleet to protect it. Clearly made of metal from its rusting gray, its knifepoint bow powered through the waves with ease. It rolled horribly when one hit it at an odd angle, pitched in the crests and troughs, and corkscrewed sickeningly in the chop. She considered blasting it with lightning…

Wait. The ship had magic aboard. The Element of Magic was there, along with almost a full quadran of Caldera magic. It would be stupid to destroy it. Perhaps, with a few twists, the Element--Twilight Sparkle, she thought with loathing--could learn the secrets of Caldera the way she had. Yes. Celestia’s prize pupil, learning what even her mentor was unable to comprehend with her feeble sun-scorched mind. That would be a sweet revenge indeed.

Suddenly, the water in front of her geysered high above her head with a loud bang and destabilizing overpressure. She nearly lost her unconscious focus on the spell keeping her aloft, but managed to prevent an untimely death. As her head cleared, she realized what had happened. The little metal ship had attacked her! From such incredible distance! She marveled at the feat, but then seethed with hatred as she recognized the technology. Fire-spitters from the world of bipeds, no doubt. They dampened magical efforts with their speed, accuracy, and stunning momentum. Their makers didn’t know that, but they didn’t need to, did they? As she watched, the second salvo straddled her on both sides, while the middle shot landed directly under her.

Twilight Sparkle, she recognized with her magic. The purple pony’s magic was unmistakable even through the clear, invisible trace of ballistics. Sparkle was on the middle weapon, but not actually firing. Perhaps she aimed it? No matter, Nightmare reminded herself, Sparkle is a magician, not a professional with fire-spitters.

The salvos were surprisingly accurate, given the distance they had to travel and her relative size on the horizon. A third one rumbled in, and the first two shots straddled her yet again. The third, dead center like the previous round, slammed into her wing and exploded against it. She felt like a yak had rammed her side and ripped pieces of her coat from her skin. Looking down at the reddening water, she realized that it had torn her wing completely off, and blood attracted the voracious fish to her ghastly wound. Immediately, she cast a specialized healing spell, one she had developed during her thousand-year imprisonment, one only an alicorn could cast, and melded her wing from the particles in the air itself, sewing it back to her side with ease. Almost instantly, she felt a breeze whistle between its feathers as the nerves rapidly rebuilt their web of lightspeed-like connections.

She turned her attention back to the metal ship. It had retreated slightly as it picked up speed and left its anchorage. It was already going faster than she could fly; in a few minutes, it would be out of her longest-range spells. With a flash of midnight-blue light, she lit her horn and cast the most logical spell.

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“Skipper, it’s gone!” Garrett cried. He couldn’t believe it. The thing they’d been shooting at had simply vanished from sight amid a translucent ball of white. The men beside him glanced nervously to one another. Garrett never lost a firing solution out of the blue, when his target was in visual range.

In the pilothouse, Matt strode to the starboard bridge wing to see for himself. After searching for a few minutes, he resigned himself to the fact that whatever it was did just completely disappear. When he glanced aft, however, that chill from earlier returned. “Chief Gray, search the ship from bow to stern. I want to know for certain that that thing didn’t somehow move from there to here.”

Before Gray could respond, the number three gun was enveloped in a cloud of sparkling midnight-blue smoke. There was an unmanly scream of absolute terror, and Tom Felts fell from the amidships platform, landing back-first into the galley. Immediately, Lanier hoisted the unconscious man onto the counter, for once wholly disregarding his carefully-built mountain of sandwiches. Mertz and the other mess attendants tried to revive the gunner’s mate, eventually grabbing a fire hose and spraying it all over him.

Meanwhile, the cloud began to grow until it obscured view of the galley and encircled number three in a perfect terrifying sphere. Men on the machine guns aimed their weapons carefully, deliberately, at the thing, knowing that, as evil and intruding as it was, they could hit their crewmates trapped inside. Tense minutes ticked by.

Inside the cloud, Twilight slowly recovered from her initial shock. Turning over to lie face-up on the platform, she found a devilish blue-slitted smile leaning into her. She scrambled back, only to find that she’d reached the edge of the platform. She couldn’t fight and she couldn’t run.

“Twilight Sparkle,” the nightmare began, “what is a pony with the likes of you doing in my realm?”

She was sure the entire ship could hear Nightmare Moon’s electric rasp of a voice.

“Well, Sparkle?”

“What do you want, Nightmare Moon?”

“I want revenge on Celestia. For the longest time, that has been my motivation to keep me prepared to rule Equestria: to banish her to the sun, paying me ten thousand years for every one she forced me on the moon. But then you came and wielded the Elements of Harmony, magical artifacts of pure love and tolerance that no mortal should ever possess!

“I will concede, Sparkle, that your mere existence has given me a new motivation. You and your friends have been Celestia’s tool, removing any credible threat to her tyrannical rule. For that, I thank you. I have come to realize that is is not Celestia that should be the target of my anger, but those she cares for. In doing that, both will see the true power I control! You have much to learn about magic, Sparkle, if you are to truly understand the fundamentals of the universe and the existence of the Caldera itself. If you believe that magic does not exist outside of Equestria, then you are lost even to yourself.”

With a groan, Silva slowly stood, using the large naval rifle as support. His vision was still blurry, but he saw the outline of a dark-skinned woman leaning triumphantly over an afraid Twilight. The ship had been boarded. There was no time to lose. He threw all of his weight at the woman, slamming into her with all the undisciplined strength he could muster through a single punch followed by his heavily muscled body. To his surprise, the collision actually enhanced his vision, clearing it as the nightmarish cloud disintegrated.

Outside, Matt watched worriedly as the cloud continued to stay on his ship. Suddenly, it shook and dissipated. As soon as it did, the trigger-happy machine gunners fired at the rolling midnight-blue winged woman who dared enter their sacred home uninvited. She poofed into several small clouds and struck back with lightning, blasting the guns with enough energy to make them glow orange. All the gunners dropped their precious equipment in both terror and reflex.

With a spine-chilling scream, the clouds expanded and proceeded to surround the entire ship in a towering, roiling donut ring, full of evil magic. Lightning rammed the fantail with unprecedented force, transforming the stern into a blinding light show. Then the bow was struck, the residual heat singing the hairs on the back of his neck.

“Take cover!” he yelled. He and Gray dragged a stunned Courtney back into the pilothouse, catching their breath as the next bolt struck home at the comm shack. Electric arcs flew from the radio and climbed the aerial on the foremast, raining lightning across the deck from the fried crow’s nest. Superheated steam gushed from the aft funnels, signifying the loss of the aft fireroom and boilers three and four. In an instant, the steam was replaced by sooty black smoke. Not only had the boilers gone down, but they were on fire and spreading burning fuel throughout the engineering spaces!

As Walker ground to a near halt with the number two boiler struggling to keep steam pressure, the bolts of lightning were answered. In a single smooth motion, Twilight spread her wings, flew above the destroyer, and blasted everything she had at the cloud ahead. Such a enormous discharge of magical energy had a cost, though. Consciousness slipping, the princess fell back to the deck. She was lucky to be caught by Garrett and a few others just before she hit it.

Her ploy worked, however. The ring faded into a misty East Indies morning, complete with an orange sunrise and volcanic islands to the south. As the last tendrils of cloud disappeared, a loud voice was heard:

Such a pitiful little ship. If it wasn’t doomed already, I’d sink it myself. Beware your enemies, destroyermen, for you have made a terrible one today. The Queen of the Night does not take kindly to hostility. You are in my realm now. Muwahahahaha!” With that final, hair-raising laugh, Nightmare Moon disappeared.

Silva carried Twilight down to the wardroom, as he could do it by himself and keep more people on the guns. Parting the horrid pea-green curtain, he saw Sandra’s shocked face as she heard a battle update from a still-dazed Courtney. She looked up at him and turned even paler than she already was. Then Karen swiftly directed him to gently set Twilight on the table.

“Silva, what happened to her?” Sandra demanded.

The big man shrugged, then looked down at his temporary charge. The princess was disheveled from the top down, her uniform had been singed, and her hands were horribly burned. Her flattened wings drooped over the sides of the table, and her violet skin had turned a sickly shade. She looked almost dead.

“I don’t know, ma’am. She flew up above the ship and shot what had to be the biggest blast of her magic in history right at the lightning donut cloud.”

“Go into my quarters. Her magic container should be in there. Bring it here.”

Silva nodded and hurried down the hall. Nearly ripping the curtain to the nurses’ and princess’s shared quarters, he saw the metal barrel on its side, slowly oozing precious swirls of deep purplish black magic. The meter that indicated its filled capacity was completely dark. He picked it up and hauled it back into the wardroom.

Sandra took one look at it and almost fainted. Courtney’s eyes bulged from their sockets in shock. Karen was the only one who remained neutral, her autopilot mode having been activated to care for Twilight.

“Oh my God, there’s none left!” the naturalist cried.

“She used it all,” Sandra agreed.

“But she did save the ship with it,” Silva pointed out.

“Yes. You do have a station to attend, Mr. Silva. I recommend getting back to it.”

“Yes, ma’am.” The big gunner’s mate clambered up the ladder to report to Matt before returning to the number three gun. He figured the Skipper would want to know this turn of events.

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Chack was sitting above the great wings of Salissa Home once again, this time contemplating the strange beings from a few days before. They had certainly seemed like Grik, at least at first, but then they didn’t attack! Only the People did not war with themselves, as far as he knew.

He glanced at Risa. She would normally be staring at him, watching for any more self-pity. This time, however, her eyes were trained to the south, watching the nearly clear horizon intently. It was a beautiful morning, one very few could appreciate from up here as a wing-runner, and both liked to make the most of it when they could.

Following her gaze, he saw a massive dark smudge just below the orange cloud cover. It pulsed and thundered, bright bolts struck itself (or possibly something within it), and the thing shuddered with the power of ten thousand lightning strikes. A moment after he saw it, a blazing light that rivaled the Sun’s eye-searing glare lit the early morning. The flash itself wasn’t that harmful, but the fact that he saw, heard, and felt it from such distance proved it was a powerful thing indeed. Whatever had happened occurred far past the horizon!

“It must have been those tail-less mariners,” Risa guessed. “They encountered something dangerous, and then they destroyed it.”

“Let us hope that is what has come to pass, Risa,” he agreed, “and not some powerful entity bent on destroying the People like the Grik.”

Author's Note:

Happy Easter, everyone!

I plan on keeping Nightmare Moon as a primary villain (alongside Kurokawa). Sunset should also enter the scene in a couple of chapters.