• 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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7 - Boarding Positions

"Was it the nerd?" Remi broke eye contact, moving instead to browse the selection of weapons. "Ooo." She was reaching for an electric pistol that had caught her eyes.

"She's not... alright, yes, she is a nerd. Her name is Twilight Sparkle." He rolled his hand lightly towards Remi, hoping the name would settle things if nothing else.

"Twilight Sparkle... Spike Sparkle. I get it! You two are married." She grabbed the pistol and twirled it in her furry hand, feeling its contours and examining its structure casually. "Good thing that doesn't matter. You two have no passion, so I assume if I have fun with one or both of you, the other won't get too upset."

Spike took a firm step forward, drawing up to his full height. "We have plenty of passion!"

Remi suddenly poked him right on the nose. "You two care about each other, a lot I bet, but she was the one that said why she wasn't interested, and it boiled down basically to 'I don't feel like it'. A challenge if ever I heard one. She didn't bring you up at all. Her sex life, or lack of it, has nothing to do with you."

Spike stormed past her, grabbing the heavy gun he had taken but never got to use down on Alupraz. "You don't know us." He pulled back on it, a reddish glow announcing the weapon was ready to be used.

"Yeah? Alright, prove me wrong. When's the last time you threw down that nerd and showed her the power of your staff?" Remi hiked a brow, a smirk on her face. "The last time the best thing she had to say was how much she liked being ridden, or maybe she does the riding? Sexy either way."

"I don't even use a staff," blurted out Spike, his face red. "Look, are you ready to blast hostile space rocks or not?"

"As ready as I will be." She extended the hand that held the pistol, aiming for a practice target that rested on a wall. With a loud click of a trigger, nothing happened. "What the? Is this thing busted?"

Steel's voice issued from the room's comms, "The weapons are locked to crew members. Spike, has she comported herself well, and what was she aiming that at when she pulled the trigger?"

Remi danced back with a soft laugh. "I was still being tested! Clever."

"She wasn't aiming at me, or anything else delicate," assured Spike. "She's a bit rude and very, uh... socially aggressive? Other than that, she's alright."

"How flattering..." She set a hand on her hips.

"Remington, I'm giving you temporary crew status." A soft chime alerted them of computer function. "You should be able to use that pistol now. Please use it responsibly."

Remi turned back for the target, firing a quick blast, striking close enough to the center to imply some amount of practice. "Alright. Any rocks try to push past me will regret it." She rolled her eyes. "Ugh, rocks. I can only assume they're as interested as your pony girl, while being not even half as cute."

"Let's focus on something that isn't... that. Is that all you think about?" He grabbed for the belt he had worn down to Alupraz and wriggled into it. "Hey, do you do armor instead of just sealed plastic suits?"

"User profile detected," replied the electronic voice in his head. "Battle armor deploying."

"Sweet." He pumped a clawed hand even as the belt began spreading over him, forming lustrous bands of metallic plastic. It seemed thicker and stiffer than the light stuff meant to simply isolate him from the environment. He was soon a fully-armored dragon. "Belt, I like you."

"Your positive feedback has been forwarded. Thank you for purchasing Blaz-Tech!"

Remi waved it off. "I'll stick with what I'm wearing. The best armor is just not being hit in the first place." She tucked the pistol into her beltline and strode for the door, tail swaying behind her. "Now let's be ready for any silicon-based intruders we get to shoot up."

Twilight turned slowly in place, viewing down a targeting reticle only she could see. "Opening fire," she announced to the bridge. She did not reach for the firing button, instead tapping it with her horn's magic, which the virtual button seemed to notice her attempting. The button was not real, so she could apply no real pressure to it, just try to, and apparently that trial was enough to trigger it.

The firing was silent, deadly silent. In the stillness of space, there were few sounds until one physical thing struck another physical thing. Still, she could see the shot rapidly leaving the ship and the viewfinder she was using showed a line of the path it was following for her.

Her shot was not the only one. Under was manning the other weapons of the ship, several sparkling motes joining the fray. Unlike the direct-firing munitions Twilight had used, they seemed capable of turning and were veering towards one of the incoming pirate vessels quite purposefully.

The ship rumbled. "Shield hit, aft side," reported Dawn Event. "No penetration. We can take four more like that in that area. They have dared to attack us. By Blaze's counsel, we should make them regret this unfortunate decision. May they be reduced to ash, whispers of the terror they experience spread through the space behind them as warning to others that would behave in such a manner, amen."

"They don't have shields," noted Under. "But they do have defenses." His rapidly closing missiles faded from the screen on que. "Intense vibrations of some manner disabled them. Direct fire may be of better--"

Twilight's fire went far enough to reach one of them. On the main screen they could see a spray of faint parts, bits of metal sent flying. Twilight could not have looked prouder than that moment. "Elementary calculations. In space, there are so many less confounding factors."

Steel waved a hoof forward. "Fire all direct weapons. They're still approaching and I want them gone, one way or another."

Under slid away his less-useful missile controls, spreading his hooves as he made a direct fire turret take up more of his vision. "Understood, Captain. Be mindful, my talented pupil, they will almost assuredly begin to make evasive actions. Were they ignorant before of our ability, combat teaches such lessons swiftly."

Dawn inclined his head faintly. "Showing a hull breach on the enemy ship, but none of the usual reactions. I suspect they do not require an atmosphere, so depressurization did not occur. Your aim was true, but not telling, Missus Sparkle."

Fast suddenly hopped to her hooves. "They don't need air?! Security, maximum alert. We will have company."

The halls pulsed an angry red color. "Maximum alert detected," spoke gently in Spike's ears. "Charging." A wire shot out of his suit without prompting, jamming itself into an outlet of some sort. "Please stand by." A bar appeared in his vision, rapidly filling.

Remi paused, hiking a brow back at him. "Did you tell it to do that? This is hardly the time or place for a charge." She crossed her arms under her chest, leaning back against the wall. "Seriously..."

"I didn't tell it to do this, but it's already almost done." He sat on his haunches, peering at the cable that attached him to the wall. "Hey, suit, what are you charging?"

"Personal shields online." The cable snapped back, vanishing into the material of the armor. A glistening second skin of pure energy popped into being around Spike, glowing a bright cyan of a shade. "Charge sufficient for one hour of continuous use."

"Oh, well. Shields? That was worth a moment of delay." He tried tapping two claws together and the shield seemed to part as they came close enough together, smoothly and seamlessly splitting in time to let them clack together without getting in the way. "That is super cool... Equestria doesn't have anything like this." With a wagging tail, Spike advanced forward. "So where are the bad guys, or rocks, or whatever they are?"

Dawn's voice spoke from a speaker near them, "Damage detected, third floor, aft rear side. Security."

"You heard him." Spike redoubled his speed, racing for the elevator.

Remi suddenly darted in front of him, hands out wide. "Woah! Wait. This is a battle kinda situation. How about we don't use the elevators that make us a huge target in a small space? Hey, computer, show us the fastest route to the damage that doesn't use an elevator."

A holographic arrow appeared, pointing the way. "Huh, that works." Spike turned and followed it, and it raced ahead, easily staying just ahead of him no matter how quickly he went or not. He could hear Remi just behind, her claws tick-tacking on the ground much like his own, though hers were quieter in comparison.

The arrow led them to a hole with a pole, designed for people to grab and slide down if they wanted. Remi vanished down it without hesitation, gone with the sound of leather rubbing against metal. Spike peered at it with less immediacy. He reached for the pole and grabbed it with his hands before inching forward and falling down against the pole, sliding down as he folded up his wings as tightly as they could be.

That didn't stop his bulk from coming to a gentle and complete stop, plugging up the space between the bar and the sides of the hole completely. "Dang it..."

Remi peered up at him. "You didn't... You did..." She reached up and swatted his dangling tail. "Adorable, but silly. C'mon! We have rocks to smash."

Spike wriggled and squirmed, slowly forcing his way down one hard-won inch at a time. "Working... on... it..."

"Take your time." She ducked behind a corner as the door exploded inwards, revealing a rough pillar of crystal and rock. "No rush or anything." A wave of vibrations shook through the area, forcing her ears to fold tight against her head. "Ahhh ouch, damn, that hurts."

She leaned out from out of cover just enough to fire a few blasts of red-colored laser. The pillar showed no immediate response to being struck with the beams, the vibrations getting louder. "Spike... maybe a little hurry?"

Dawn pressed at virtual keys busy. "Fighting has begun. Security has engaged the intruders. All other members of staff are secure for the moment."

Fast slammed a hoof down on the metal floor. "Damn it all... They literally floated over here. Scan for hull damage, I doubt they came in gently. Under, Twilight, how are we looking?"

"I'm getting the hang of this," reported Twilight with a little smile. The battle situation didn't seem to be bothering her as much as it perhaps should have been. She was firing on any ship foolish enough to be within the arc of her gun, speeding up with each shot until she was going as quickly as the gun would allow, which was about every half a second before she sent a new volley towards the enemy ships. "Dawn, have you found their weak points?"

"That would be useful," agreed Under, working the other direct firing guns. "Simply striking their ships doesn't appear to be hindering them as much as I would desire. I dare say if our own ship were subjected to these punishments, we would have all been thrown into the void long before now."

"I have found what I think is their command module." A diagram of their ship appeared on the main screen, one part highlighted red. "Take aim and impress Blaze with your ferocity."

"Got it." Twilight adjusted her aim, trying to go for the exact spot specified instead of the center of mass. "I have to say, I'm impressed by the robustness of their ship's designs."

Spike suddenly fell, just far enough so his bulk squeezed through the hardest part. He hit the ground on his haunches and fell forward with an oof, his shields providing no real protection from simply falling. "I'm here wh--" He was cut off as a new wave of vibration rolled over him. "Ow ow ow." He grabbed his gun and directed it at the crystal pillar that stood in the doorway. "Stop that!"

A great blob of acid launched from his gun rather than a laser or beam of plasma. It struck the pillar, splattering noisily across it and the doorway it stood in and it all began to hiss with the power of the acid interacting with everything it touched.

The acid was eagerly giving up protons, disrupting atomic bonds as it did so. The doorway and the pillar seemed equally as unpleased by the application of direct chemistry. The strange intruder withdrew as if sliding. The door slapped shut behind it as much as it could, but it was clearly damaged, both by acid and as if wrenched apart, the two halves not meeting in the middle very well.

"For being so loud, it sure didn't make noise when it ran." Spike reached a hand towards Remi. "You alright?"

She staggered upright, rubbing at her ears as she did so. "My ears hurt like hell and my insides don't feel a lot better, but I'm still in one piece. Alright, acid works..." She belted her pistol and drew out her sword. "And maybe some physical intimacy is required. C'mon, let's go."

Spike took the lead, at least until the door fitfully tried to open and failed to do so, too damaged to operate properly. "No time!" He grabbed both ends of the door and shoved the two ends apart with an angry growl, opening the way for them. "Ha--woah!" He ducked back as laser fire began to rain down on him. His shield absorbed several hits before he was back in cover, slapped up against a wall. "When did they get lasers?!"

"Look, sorry." Remi pressed herself against the other side of the door, both framing the archway. "This is exactly what I was hoping to avoid by not using the elevator, and here we are."

"Too late to worry about that now. Hey, armor, how's the shield doing?"

"65%," helpfully replied the armor. "Please use caution."

"Good enough." He hit the ground with all four clawed hands and feet and scrambled through the door. There were two pillars, lasers emerging from angrilly glaring bits of their rocky body. He didn't think about it, he just charged the closest of the two, tackling it bodily and doing exactly as he had avoided doing in his spars. He tore at it with claws and teeth, roaring with fury as he unleashed on it, sending bits of rocks flying haphazardly about.

"Nothing like an angry dragon," mused Remi, sounding as pleasantly impressed as anything else. "You can tear me apart later..." She slipped from the room, the attention of the two columns focused on Spike, one being shredded under the great bulk of Spike and the other firing persistently, trying to help its comrade.

The thing didn't seem to have a front or a back, or many weak points she could immediately see. It was a rock. On the plus side, the glowy bits it shot lasers from seemed clear enough. She rushed from cover to cover, approaching it as quickly as she could.

She did not scream as she made the final charge. As brave as it had been for Spike to do so, she had no interest on increasing its attention on her. She brought down her sword, both hands on its hilt firmly. Her sword bit at the rock and stopped at once. Turns out, it was exactly as hard as it looked, and her sword was caught in its laser-spewing geode. "Damn it..." She wriggled and twisted, trying to free the blade, only to catch a laser right in the chest.

She wheezed with pain, no shield to protect her, but she did not give up. If she couldn't back up, there was only forward. She fell against the column, driving her sword down into the rock just a little further. With a rough chunk, the blade fell free and clattered to the ground, but so did the laser-emitting part of the rock, its glow fading away without being connected to the rest of it. "Yeah!"

Spike threw the remains of the column he had been ravaging aside, the entire thing reduced to a pile of rubble. "12%" reported the belt he wore. "Please avoid any further hazards or allow for a full and complete recharge."

"Yeah yeah." Spike charged at the one that loomed over Remi. She was weakly pushing back away from it, her ears pinned and her hands at her head, being withered under a focused sonic assault.

He smashed into it from the 'side', tearing and ripping, every limb capped with deadly claws that dug rough and uneven trenches in its rocky exterior. His draconic jaws were designed to crush gems to dust, and it turned out the mineral-based enemy wasn't that much harder than his favorite snacks.

Remi sagged back, flopping against the corner where the wall met the floor. "That... hurts. Thanks for the assist, Big Guy." She rubbed at her throbbing head, trying to calm the pounding headache that had been forced on her. "Tear it a few new ones."

"We are being hailed." Wandering Note gestured to the main screen even as a window popped open, showing the message they were getting. One of the strange rock-like formations that was scattered across its control bridge as if it has just grown into the ship rather than walking into the room was there.

It hummed in a new low rumble, words appearing as the computer translated, "Your resistance is greater than expected. What you have is outweighed by the effort of taking it."

"Ships are falling out of Between Space." Dawn pointed as the ships blipped one by one off the radar display, no longer in the same 'dimension'.

Steel frowned at the sight. "While I'm not upset to see them go, they left their boarding parties behind."

Fast raised a hoof to her ear. "Security, status report? Any casualties?"

Spike's voice came in reply, "I'm fine, Remi's banged up pretty bad. I'm taking her to where the computer's leading me to get her looked at."

"Security team 1, enemies neutralized."

"Security team 2, still fighting. They are making a fighting withdrawal. Should we let them go?"

"Affirmative." Fast sighed softly before nodding. "Follow them but don't stop them from leaving the ship if that's what they're doing." She swiveled towards Steel. "I suggest we do a full sweep to make sure we don't have any other 'guests' lurking about."

"Agreed." He reached for his ear. "Any security team not currently engaged, check the ship for any sign of lingering enemy forces. Travel swift and safely."

"Amen," added Dawn without prompting, tapping at his screen.

Belle waved a metal hoof in front of a panel. "Wake up time!"

With a flicker, the image of one of her oldest friends came alive. "Hey. Things calm down?"

Belle nodded up at No Name with a bright smile. "The intruder is an intersex, female identifying, vulpine-class beast folk. Friendship file has been opened. Appears friendly." She clopped her forehooves with a ring of metal on metal. "I think you would like her."

No Name raised a brow at that. "Yeah? That's good. You're making some friends."

"Making friends is my #1 objective," noted Belle with a formal nod, looking quite serious a moment before her usual smile returned. "I am succeeding," she sang, bouncing in place. "While new friends are ideal, old friends are even better. I would like my old friends to meet my new friends. Under optimal circumstances, they would also become friends, increasing the total friendship levels."

"Yeah..." He glanced at the archway Belle had come in through. "I don't exist outside of this room, and I barely exist inside this room. Belle, why don't you go hang out with your new, real, fr--"

Belle suddenly crashed into him, making him slide a little. "Unacceptable! Cease this line of thought. It is unconstructive and is not earning you friendship points."

"Sometimes the truth does that." He reached a large hoof down towards her head, gently petting her. "Because I care more about you being happy than me being happy."

"Error!" She bounced with clear agitation. "Your happiness is of high priority. My happiness is already secured. Behold!" She smiled extra hard to display just how happy she was. "I have made new friends that are interesting and interested in me. Happiness quotients met. It is your turn for happiness level increases. Prepare for joy injections!" She spread her hooves wide.

He chuckled softly through several different snakes. "Pretty sure just about anywhere you can 'inject' joy, you cause problems. He sank to his belly, watching her. "I'm happy enough."

"You do not speak positively for being happy." She circled around him and scampered up onto his back without hesitation, taking her rightful place atop him. "I have an idea!" she suddenly sang in a delighted chorus of electronic tones. "The new friend, Remington, Nickname: Remi, professed expertise with electronic devices. Perhaps she can solve your problem."

"I don't have no problems," gruffly assured No Name, frowning a little, but he didn't fight Belle's presence on his back.

"Incorrect reply." Belle bounced down suddenly, hitting the ground in a trot. "I will liberate you from this room and you will see. Prepare to open friendship files!" She darted from the room, her mind quite made up on what she'd do.

He watched her go with a soft hiss from his snakes. "I love it when you get an idea, but why's it gotta be--" He winked out of existence, the computer deciding he wasn't needed to speak to an empty room.

Spike entered the medical bay with the form of Remi sprawled out in his arms. He was walking on two legs, slowly and awkwardly, but it was still something he could do when he wanted. "Doctor?"

"What dark path do you require me for?" Before him was Dawn Event, but younger, much younger. They appeared to barely be out of their teens, a young adult with a bright smile. "Oh, look at her. She requires the soft touch of Lashtada. Set her here." He walked away from the confused Spike, gesturing to one of the beds.

Spike followed the younger version of Dawn, setting down Remi carefully. "Can you help her? She kinda blacked out as we were coming."

"I will whisper to the gods, and they will decide." The younger Dawn sat on his haunches and rubbed his forehooves together. "Lashtada, please find favor in this one and help her flesh be whole, that she may dance."

He reached, touching her along her side and front in slow exploring as his hooves glowed soft pinkish hues, healing energy pouring forth to help remedy the ails in the fox's body. "Oh... I feel Lashtada smiles on this one. How curious... This will make the healing easier."

"That's great!" Spike gave an emphatic thumbs up. "So, uh... who or what is Lashtada?"

The younger Dawn hiked a brow. "So ignorant in the way of gods." He stood up taller, working across to the other side of Remi. "She is the smiling mother that bids that life fulfill its most basic function and find revelry and joy in all its aspects."

"Most... basic function? Like breathing?" Spike lifted his shoulders. "Eating?"

"Before life can be life, there are things it must need to do before it even is aware of the idea of breathing, or eating. Even the most primitive life does this, that will never know the pleasure of breathing, or eating." He took her head in both hooves, gently working the pink energy in, banishing the sonic-given damage. "Life must make life, or the first would also be the last, and that is hardly life at all."

Author's Note:

Jammed out at Everfree NW, as if a con could slow me down! Mua ha ha ha ha.

Things are happening. Can you read between the lines?

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