• Published 6th Apr 2019
  • 1,164 Views, 588 Comments

Distant Reflections - David Silver

Equestria and Everglow have brushed against one another through the course of their histories, each time fleeting, but memorable to those involved. Many many years later, the unaging Twilight captains a space vessel to explore the universe.

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12 - All Hooves on Deck

Bright magic overcame them all before it all went dark. "Huh," came Spike's voice, his large movement heard, claws on the floor. "Easy to forget I can do that... Let me see if I can find the lights..." A soft clicking noise could be heard. "Nope."

Twilight became visible, her horn shedding her magic's light across the room they had appeared in. "Thanks for trying, but I came with my own torch."

"I as well," spoke Octavia as she became a second source of light. "If the lights aren't working, that speaks ill. Remington? I will make my way towards the first problem area."

"Hold up a second." Remi was digging around in a bin, tail lashing and an unseen grin on her face. "We hit pay dirt. Was she trying to dump us in their supply closet? Because thanks!" She began to throw things out of the bin, making uneven piles of rubber and electronics behind her. "Ammunition for the repair efforts."

Spike frowned from by the non-functioning light switch. "Wait, didn't they say they didn't have the supplies?"

Octavia was looking over the supplies. "These are hardly considerable supplies, but they will make jury-rigging more practical." Her magic scooped up bits from each pile, causing them to float next to her. "Just the thing for an emergency. I wonder if something happened to their repair crew."

Spike raised a claw. "Speaking of that, where is our repair crew? Are we the repair crew? I don't mind helping, but--"

"The repair crew is coming," came Steel's voice, audible to them all. "They are not rated for combat situations, you are."

Spike suddenly snorted, smoke escaping his snout. "Oh! I see how it is, send us in first. Fine fine..."

Twilight clopped her plastic-covered hooves together. "Maybe we'll have to fight for our lives!" she gushed perhaps a little too excitedly. "I'm ready!"

Spike set an armored claw on her back. "Hopefully there won't be anything to be ready for, but we'll protect them. I'll watch Octavia, you get Remi."

Remi came up from the bin to pout at Spike. "Throwing me aside? I'm the one that wanted you here, remember?"

Despite her objection, Twilight was already approaching Remington to begin guard duty. "You have expressed repeated interest in my husband."

Remi's ears went up. "Oh! Uh... What? Me? Never..." She ducked back into the bin to avoid looking at her, rummaging for more supplies. "We should focus on our mission."

Octavia strode for the door, but it didn't open for her. "Figures. Spike, dear, might you lend your considerable strength?"

"Mm? Got it." He ambled over and grabbed the edges of the door with his armored claws, pulling with great grunts and heaves, the two sides slowly separating until he could work in his fingers and progress became significantly faster, the door soon open for them. "There we are. I'll go first." He slipped through the doorway into the faintly-lit hallway, only the dimmest of emergency red lights lining it.

The two left Twilight and Remi alone. Twilight was sitting on her haunches beside the bin Remi was hiding in. "Are you interested in breeding? I confess mild curiosity into the logistics of that."

Remi poked the top of her head up over the lip of the bin. "Logistics?" Certainly that was not the word she expected.

"Dragons produce eggs, would such a hybrid also desire to be egg-based. If so, would you be able to lay it properly?" Twilight tilted her head faintly. "Would the differences in body temperatures cause a problem for it before it was hatched? In terms of societal upbringing, would you raise it in the ways of dragons or... whatever your species is called? The logistics are staggering to consider." She clopped her plastic-wrapped hooves. "Considering it is quite interesting to me."

Remi raised a brow at the nerdy alicorn. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but we're talking about your husband, right?"


She rolled a furry hand in the air. "And you're perfectly happy considering the 'logistics' of him sleeping with some other woman you still barely know? I thought I was the free spirited pansexual of the group. What the actual hells?" She pulled herself up and half-rolled out of the bin, moving for the piles of parts.

"You sound upset." Twilight followed after her calmly. "I thought, if anything, you'd be relieved to know I wasn't offended by your actions."

"There are literally just a few ways I would expect it to go." She pocketed interesting baubles from the ground, filling her clothing with jingling bits. "One, you're pissed off, alright, I'd deal with that. Heck, probably deserve it a little." She turned for the door. "Two, you want in. Well, that's kinky, but I wouldn't say no. Three, you want to watch, also kinky, also wouldn't say no. Some people get off on the idea of watching their SOs get hot with someone." She gestured for the door. "But, nope, you found a fourth one to confuse me with."

Twilight trailed right along behind her. "You have me at a loss. You seem to be expecting some amount of intimacy issues, but I am pleased to inform you that I, as former princess of friendship, have overcome these small matters that could cause ponies to, as Belle would put it, lose friendship points. I would only take exception if you were to use deception." She suddenly poked the flat of her hoof into Remi's side. "Which you did. Apologize for that."

Remi was looking down the hallway from the safety of the door, glancing left and right. "Right, yes. It was the first thing out of my mouth, expecting option 1. Sorry for not being forthright from the get go." She slipped out into the darkness, squinting. "Mind coming and bringing that glowing horn of yours?"

Twilight advanced, but prodded Remi right on her bottom as she did so. The fox's covered tail began to shed soft white light. "Your apology is accepted, but questions remain."

"Questions that can wait until we have this ship working?" She pressed into the disturbingly inactive ship. "We have an assignment to do."

Octavia glanced back at Spike. "You are more familiar with these suits, are they capable of atmospheric analysis?"

"Suit?" He could hear a soft chime of acknowledgement. "Is it safe to take off the suit?" A soft warning buzz was the reply. "The air's bad, couldn't tell you why exactly. Pity Belle isn't here, bet she'd know."

"Pity," agreed Octavia as she advanced. One of her covered ears suddenly perked. "Did you hear that?"

"Yeah..." Spike scurried ahead and went right around the corner without delay. "Woah!" In front of him was a collapsed form. It looked like someone's dog, malnourished, tongue hanging free and looking dry. Its eyes were closed and it was still. "Oh wow... Is it... dead?"

Octavia came up beside him. "I couldn't say by looking at it. Mayhaps we should have brought a few extra belts with us, for survivors we happened across."

Spike applied a hand to his face. "That would have been smart." He reached with the same hand to gently prod the figure. "You in there?"

Movement made him jump with surprise, but it was barely more than the faintest change of position and a growling moan of discomfort. Octavia advanced immediately, a small duct opening in her suit to allow a figurine of a stalwart fighter free. "Know the touch of the healer upon you, willing you to return to battle. Your soul invigorated, your wounds lessened; today is not the day to pass." She touched her glowing hoof to the creature and the light seeped into it.

"That was not unicorn magic," noted Spike with a raised brow. "But it wasn't Everglow magic either, that I remember it. What was that?"

The figure suddenly began to cough, painful and labored, but it was a sign of life. It rolled upwards slowly, leaning against the wall as it got itself upright. "Help..."

"We are here to do that," assured Octavia. "You are not a pet."

The figure smirked at that, but the expression failed, pain replacing it. "Won't be... much of anything... Please help..." Their voice was too faint and hoarse to apply a gender to, leaving that a mystery.

Spike set a large hand on their shoulder. "We're on the case. Just relax and don't die, all we ask."

"Do... my best..."

Octavia was already moving on, resuming the course towards the system she was to attempt repairs on. "That was valuable. We know there is atmosphere, and it is not immediately lethal, just troubling. Perhaps due to a lack of proper recycling. A build up of carbon dioxide, rather than any true lack of air, or some chemical leak. If that person had been suffering from poison, my little spell would not have helped them." Her figurine slipped back into her suit and tucked itself away with her magic.

Spike reached for his head, though he couldn't touch it with the visor. "Captains, we found one survivor, leaving them to continue repairs and they seem mostly stable for the moment. Air's pretty bad, but we can't be more specific than that."

"Copy that," came Fast's reply. "We'll be sure to get doctors over there too once you've gotten the ship habitable."

He nodded, hand dropping to resume his easy lope through the dark hallways. Where Octavia's light didn't reach, he saw it in shades of grey, but he could still see, and so he advanced untroubled. "We going the right way?"

"Take a left." Octavia tossed her head. "We're getting close."

"I have it." Remi pulled free a sharp stick as the door in front of them sagged open a few inches. "Another lock busted, and I think I get you too. You're just open. I'm making this more complicated than it needs to be. That's cool. You've defeated jealousy, good job. Most people who bother to apply the married tag don't do that."

Twilight waved a hoof as her magic wrenched the door wide for them to pass through. "Being 'open' suggests that I am in the market for carnal relations outside that of my wedded partner. This is not true."

Remi hiked a brow as she stalked into the room. "You're just ice cold then, but you don't care if your hubby warms up?"

Twilight squinted softly at that. "I am perfectly normal in temperature for a pony. Why would I object to-- Oh! How silly, those were euphemisms. It's been so long since I heard them, apologies." She coughed softly, even if she was just coughing into her visor, her hoof held up against it meaninglessly. "If Spike wanted to breed with you, I would not stop him."

Remi threw up a hand as she advanced into the room, looking around for something. "This has nothing to do with breeding. I have basically zero plans to make little Remis right now, maybe ever, definitely not right now. Did you forget going through those motions feels kind of nice?"

Twilight pointed to the right. "Is that what you're looking for?"

"Hm? Yeah!" She scrambled over to the panel and began working a sharp tool along the edges, trying to pry it up. "We don't eat bland nutri-paste because that's boring, and what's boring becomes painful after a while. We live, we want stimulation." She ran her tongue over her lips. "Some of us more than others... but it isn't natural to not want any."

"I will take that into due consideration," promised Twilight without sounding that sincere. "But we have a task, as you were quick to remind me. I simply wished for you to know that I do not harbor animosity towards you."

Remi threw the cover aside. "Noted and appreciated... now can you get that light in a better angle? My tail makes for a bad source for what's in front of my face--Thanks." She smiled as Twilight came around to get her horn into view. "Now let's... see..." She dug around in the wires with a scowl. "And... the hells?" She pulled out a single wire, an exposed bit of its metal in view. "It's been cut."

Twilight raised a brow at that. "Any chance it burned out?"

"Burnt wires don't look like cut wires." She snorted at the idea. "Look at it." She thrust the wire as far as it would go towards Twilight, held firmly in her plastic-coated fingers. "Cut. On the plus side, cut wires can be uncut..." She shoved the wire back into the hole it came from and began working with the jumping sparks of a little welding tool she was using.

Twilight raised a hoof towards her ear. "Captains, Remi has found clues that perhaps sabotage was at play. She is addressing the damage we've found."

"Good and bad to hear," agreed Steel. "Glad she's fixing it, but worrying. It means there could be hostile sapients on board who won't be happy to know you're undoing their work. I'll pass the alert on to the other team. Be aware and never travel alone."

"Of course, Captain. Thank you for trusting me on this trip." she lowered her hoof just to clop them almost immediately. "This is getting more exciting! Thank you for taking the required steps that caused me to be here. This is far more interesting than reminiscing about old adventures. Think of the danger we could get into right now!"

"So that's what gets you going?" With a final bright flash, dim lights began to spill from the space Remi had her hands. "There we go... We can only hope the other problems were done so simply."

"What is it you fixed, speaking of that?"

Octavia scowled at the open access hatch. "This does not look right."

"Yellow alert," came Fast's voice. "Damage appears to be of hostile origin. The attacker could still be on board and none-too-pleased at your efforts. Be cautious and keep us informed with any updates."

"Roger that," replied Spike as he leaned over Octavia's shoulder. "Oh yeah, we're looking at some big blaster marks, like someone just took a laser to the wall and decided it was a fine place to practice their aim."

A soft curse echoed through the radio. "Roger that," she grumbled. "I don't like this, but there are countless people relying on our aid. Assume everyone is hostile until proven otherwise. Don't be the first taking the shot, but trust no one."

"Very unfortunate," grunted Octavia as she sat down. "Watch my back as I get to work." She reached for the thicker band of her suit that was the original belt. "How many generations have you seen, each the same, and each so different. Surely you understand how things change, and remain stable all at once. Lend me your aid." She reached her other forehoof towards the singed hole. "Remind it of what it once was, and what it can be..."

Spike shook his head with some wonder, watching the magic start undoing the damage rapidly, wires jumping together, burnt plastic covering peeling free and wrapping themselves, regenerating as if nothing had happened in the first place. "When... How long have you been a super spellcaster and just... sitting on it?"

"Sitting on it?" Octavia turned an ear towards him, her eyes on the electronics as they regenerated. "Do you think I practiced only my instrument when you were not watching me? Honing my spellcasting was one of my few passions. If I had not this ability, our ship would have possibly worn down and gave out on us long before that... unfortunate incident that brought us to our new ship."

"This is me not complaining." He turned away from her, sweeping his eyes over the dark room as he returned to the door to get a better view of the hallways and any danger that could be approaching. "Tell me that should get the air flowing."

"I will have to reply negatively to that. Remi sent us to get--" She didn't get to finish, the lighting suddenly becoming blinding as all the lights across the ship came to life at once, bedazzling them all with a shared yelp across the radios.

"Status report!" barked Fast. "What's going on over there? We saw a power spike."

"I'm fine," grumbled Spike, rubbing his arm over his eyes as his vision started to return, spots dancing. The lights were rapidly fading as if some system somewhere was trying to adjust it to a more comfortable level. "The lights are back on."

"Holy!" came Remi's sudden input.

"On i--" Twilight started to say before being cut off.

Fast could be heard thumping her hoof down. "Twilight, Remington, report! Spike, Octavia, status?"

Octavia closed the panel with its restored instruments. "We are fine. If you would give us the location of the others, we'll check in on them."

Spike was tense as steel. "Yeah, yesterday. Twilight needs us." His claws rapped against the steel floor in an impatient drum.

"And Remington as well, I should imagine." She raised her LAP into view as it showed a quickly-filling loading bar. "There we are, I have a map."

Spike was over in a flash. "Hey, belt, grab that map." A soft chime of approval came.

On Octavia's LAP, a prompt appeared, "Attempted connection. Allow?"

Octavia lifted an ear as she willed the yes button.

"Connection added to history. Transfer in progress..."

Spike could see the map appear on his visor. "Great! Let's go." He wheeled around and took off in no trot, but a gallop, storming through the hallways with a determined face. He was a dragon, and none would harm what was his.

Author's Note:

Something happened. At least we can see it now, right?

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