• Published 6th Apr 2019
  • 1,160 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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68 - Make Some Friends

"You are a mystery," smoothly spoke Octavia before a wince overtook her. "Mmmf."

"You alright?" It wasn't easily that her beloved was made to produce unpleasant noises.

"I... am fine." She began walking across the room, only to stop again, a tremble running through her body. "Oh... now?" She glanced towards her rebellious belly. "Now?" Suddenly she was large, round with life without the option of hiding it. "Now," she gusted out, sinking towards the floor a little before forcing herself back up. "Remington... be a dear... fetch the doctor."

She turned to see Remington had already vanished and smiled a little. "Thank you." That she had vanished before the request was complete was... "You are a good friend." And more, by any measure. That child in her belonged as much to the fox as it did to her. They were, officially, becoming parents, a couple, bound by it instead of matrimony.

"Un...accceptable." She tried to control her breathing, to re-assume control of her body. "First of all... you are a... wielder of great... ancient... magic..." She reached up to feel the grand tiara on her head. "Trust in them, in yourself... You can get through this."

A knocking came from the door. "Just come in!" she hollored, losing her patience a moment. She could hear the door slide open. "Apologies. I didn't mean to shout so rudely."

"Is this a bad time?" That wasn't Remington, or any of the copies of Dawn Event. In fact, she felt certain that pony wasn't medical staff of any kind. Octavia turned her frowning face at Twilight Sparkle. "Are you alright?" Twilight seemed to miss the scowl entirely.

"Dear, your timing is... impeccable." She clopped the floor, restlessly dancing from hoof to hoof. "I am a tad... occupied at present, and... wish to be alone, save my partner and medical assistance, should that prove needed."

A high pitched melodic voice chimed, octaves rising and falling as it did so, "Medical assistance has arrived!" A panel in the ceiling fell out, allowing Bell to fall as far as the cords around her allowed her to, dangling there as dramatic music played from within her.

"Belle?" Octavia arched a brow at the dangling robot-filly. "Remington is... already..."

"On the way back," advised Belle. "Without assistance. That is why I came," she sang as she twisted, coming free of the cords and landing with a metal thunk, somehow gracefully. "You are uniquely permitted to make use of my medical functions."

Hitting the frame of the door, Remington bounced into the room, heaving for breath. "Out for lunch?! That is not good... doctoring..."

It was then that she saw how many other people had occupied the room. "Twi, Belle? The heck?"

"That is exactly my feelings on the matter." Octavia sank against the wall, grunting with renewed internal activity. "No more... time to argue. Things are happening, like it or not. Leave... or don't... I have... ceased to care."

Belle advanced without delay. "You are a Responsible Adult. This flag allows full use of my functions. May I have permission to engage in life support?"

Octavia huffed for breath, teeth set. "Life... support? That... yes!" she yelped, a powerful shudder gripping her. "Do it."

"Command received," she sang with joy before she hopped for Octavia, unfolding as she did so. She wrapped around Octavia, hitting her facing forward, spinning mid-air to do so. She began to rapidly spread and unlink to grasp Octavia from all sides, becoming like a set of armor. Octavia was much larger than her mother, leaving her pieces with room between, fur easily poking free. The pieces did not float, bound by bits of material like rubber bands or metal poles.

Octavia recoiled her head in surprise, plunged into darkness a moment before Belle's eyes glowed, transmitting what they saw to her and allowing her vision to return, with extras. All manner of information flashed before her eyes, most of it related to her. She could see her own heartbeat, but that monitor had two little pulses that danced, she she put that together fairly quickly. "Is that my child?"

"Affirmative," sang Belle. One of the heartbeats began to slow. "Are you experiencing discomfort?"

"No," sighed out Octavia as if she were in a dream, gazing at that second heartbeat with a faint smile. "There you are..." She reached out a hoof even as her teeth clenched, a new contraction rippling through her. "Mmf, more work... to do... to get you out here... with us."

A paw came down on her back, Remington gently rubbing a spot where Belle wasn't covering things. "You can do it," she gently urged. "You're way stronger than some moms I've seen go through it."

"You are cruel." Octavia was looking at Twilight, who had not fled. "Insisting... on... being here."

Twilight flipped her ears back. "If I can help, I want to."

"Your magic... is better... at ending lives... than starting them," got out Octavia in between her own efforts. "Mmf, alright... Oh." She blinked, unseen, as a new image appeared, actually showing the progress she was making. "I'm doing it..."

She was not screaming, that was too... uncouth. The pain was there, that intense stretching as her body labored to accomodate what was happening. But she wasn't dying. She wasn't being split open. She knew it, and she accepted the discomfort as the temporary thing she knew it was. Thank all the gods she hadn't been born a biped, bless their cursed souls those who had to go through a similar, but far less comfortable, act.


"This is quite odd..." Dawn inclined his head at his terminal.

"Did you find a way in?" Steel's eyes were on him with hope.

"Unrelated. A medical situation has developed." He waved a hoof at something unseen. "But it was flagged as under control almost immediately. No medical personel are present at the scene. That... should not normally be possible."

Fast shook her head softly. "Do we know which crew member had the situation and their current status?"

Dawn gestured at the main screen where an image of Octavia regarding the camera came into being. The picture had been taken before she began dressing like a queen. "She appears to be giving birth," advised Drawn. "Those present: Remington, Twilight Sparkle, and Bullette Belle."

Fast allowed her head to inclined at an angle. None of those sounded like someone trained to handle that sort of situation. "And they haven't called for help?"

Under raised a hoof. "Octavia's magic is not without healing ability. She could mend herself if the need came."

Fast gave Under quite the flat look. "Next time you give birth, I'd like to see you finish a spell during the process."

"Hey, uh." Error poked his head out of the elevator, the rest of him following after on uncertain hooves. "If ah ain't botherin'?"

Steel raised a hoof. "We are under yellow alert, and other things beside. What do you need, Error?"

Error shrank back a little, ears folding. "Sorry, ain't tryin' ta be a bother." He paused, a transmission reaching him. He allowed it and Wandering Note's face appeared in his vision.

"Hello there," greeted the goat. "This is a virtual avatar of me. I'm not talking, you can see me, over there, not talking." A glance showed the goat looked like he was typing away, no words emerging. "Wanna talk? Let the captains deal with their stuff. I have a moment."

"Oh, hey... Nevermind. All good!" He turned and fled back into the elevator. Only after the door closed did he look towards the image. "Huh, so yer typin' this?"

"Yep!" The goat smiled. Under could see his eyes didn't really move much, which sort of made sense, being just an avatar, not a person. "I have a few emotes, but mostly just my face talking. That's enough sometimes. So, what's wrong? You look like you need a shoulder."

"Ah barely said nothin'," he complained, reaching to press a floor button and get the elevator moving. "How could ya tell?"

"What little you said, seemed clear to me. You looked lonely. You're like little Belle."

He smiled at that. "That there's a compliment."

"Good, it was meant to be one, but I meant I understood. People still get confused. Most computers and electronics don't do that. They don't get lonely. Park a computer on an asteroid somewhere, come back in a thousand years, and if it wasn't physically damaged, it won't be emotionally damaged for being left alone."

"'cause they don't got emotions ta damage." He rubbed at his cheek softly. "Ah was raised wit' 'em, fer better or not."

"I think it's better. Not for every computer ever... Imagine if the coffee dispenser had a mid-life crisis?"

"Ain't gonna have a mid-life," argued Error. "Where'd you even put that? The first time you... wait." He shook his head. "Gettin' off topic... so, let's get back to the point."

"Gladly"

"Ah done been kicked out of my room."

The goat gave a very dramatically confused expression. A programmed emote. "Did you get into a fight with Belle?"

"Sorta..." He began walking, the doors opening on the elevator. "She wants me to go make some friends 'sides her. But ah don't know how! Ah get her... She gets me... Everyone else is kinda..." He lowered his head, voice dropping to a whisper, "They scare me, alright?"

"Do I scare you?" asked Wandering. "It's alright if I do."

"Not... too much," he admitted. "Yer alright," he more firmly added. "Thanks fer talkin'."

"It's my job, and I like it. Watching over the spirits of the crew is what I do when I'm not dealing with the comms. Sure, most such officers would not also be counseling the local robots and programs, but hey, thems the breaks. Besides, you seem nice enough, so, tell me about you?"

"Well..." That counted as one friend, right? He began sharing with the goat, hoping it did.


"More on topic." Dawn gestured at his terminal. "I have a few proposals for advancing."

Steel's ears pricked up. "You have my complete attention. Wandering, any word from the distressed ship?"

"Not a one," reported Wandering as he typed away. "I am monitoring."

"Good, go on." He looked to Dawn.

Dawn dipped his head faintly. "The update they sent was quite revealing. There are several weaknesses in their network of monitoring we could exploit."

Fast snorted quite loudly. "Pass." Both stallions looked to her. "Isn't it obvious? They gave us that map. Any weakness lovingly etched on it is so obviously a trap, I'm embarassed for the two of you."

"That is not assured." Steel crossed his arms. The fact that that it could be a trap was enough reason to delay. "Dawn, do you have another idea that doesn't involve this?"

"Mineralite trade routes are open." With a wave at the main screen, the star chart appeared with several dotted lines coming and going from their territory. "Monitoring the closest one, some of the ships are large enough to contain our entire vessel."

Steel hiked a brow at the idea. "You want us to hide inside another ship?"

"The host ship would have all authorization to be there." Dawn struck an unseen key. "All we would require is their cooperation, and a bit of faith."

Fast inclined her head faintly. "Faith is something you do like to bring up, but what does it have to do with this?"

"Everything." He brought down a hoof on a button, showing an icon on the main screen of their ship in a larger ship. "While inside, we would need to power down, to avoid detection. We would be entirely helpless. If the ship we select decided to..."

"They could do anything," finished Steel with a frown. "That is a risk..."

Fast raised a hoof. "But a risk I already feel better about than the first option. We just need to find a captain friendly to Everglow."

A simple task, one could hope.

Author's Note:

Oh, goodness, so much going on! Octavia's on her way to motherhood as the ship tries to get into hostile space and one lonely program tries to make friends. Lovingly typed on a tablet, because I love you.

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