• Published 24th Oct 2019
  • 5,629 Views, 198 Comments

Untitled Celestia Fic - SPark

It’s a lovely morning in Canterlot, and you are a horrible Alicorn.

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A Pleasant Cruise

“Welcome aboard, Your Highness.” Prince Blueblood managed to make his bow somehow arrogant, and Celestia wondered for at least the hundredth time exactly how he managed that sort of thing. He had a gift, though admittedly an extremely unfortunate one for everyone around him.

“My pleasure,” said Celestia, smiling her usual serene smile as she stepped off of the gangplank and onto Blueblood’s luxurious air ketch. She felt a tiny, anticipatory thrill run down her spine, and quite hoped that she wouldn’t be proved a liar. The afternoon would be a trial if things went all according to Blueblood’s plans, but Celestia might just turn things around for herself, if she was lucky.

The yacht’s deck was already thronged with Canterlot’s elite. Celestia moved among them, a great white shape like a swan amid lesser birds. They milled about as the airship cast off and began proudly, ponderously parading away from Canterlot. There were already waiters moving with trays of food and drinks held in their magic or dexterously in hoof.

Celestia snagged a glass of white wine and considered her next move.

“A fine afternoon for a flight, Your Highness.”

Celestia turned and found the Zebrican ambassador standing just beside her. With a tiny hint of regret she put her plans aside for the moment. Diplomatic moments were far from off-limits—a princess must always bear in mind her responsibilities, but nothing was truly off-limits when completing a task—yet the ambassador was also somebody Celestia personally liked, and as Celestia had no pressing tasks involving her just now, setting aside all thoughts not related to the simple joy of catching up with a friend was clearly Celestia’s best bet.

In any case, it would be almost an hour until the airship reached the optimal location, so there was plenty of time yet.

Celestia enjoyed nearly half an hour of uninterrupted conversation, and when inevitably somebody did manage to pull her attention away, she dealt with the would-be toady easily enough. Her mind was busily ticking off her plans as she went through the practiced moves of seeming amenable to the noblestallion’s requests while promising nothing whatsoever.

The preparations necessary to achieve tonight’s goal floated through her mind as she smiled and nodded. The spot where the gangplank had attached was now gated off, but the gate’s latch could be unloosed if she only used a touch of magic. She needed a brief unseen moment or a cover under which she could light her horn unremarked, that was all. Then there would have to be a warding charm, one that would last without her attention, as it would be distinctly elsewhere. Collateral damage was bad form, after all..

And, of course, the ship itself had to be coaxed lower to the ground. A certain amount of extremely minor injury was permissible, but certainly not the results of a fall from normal cruising height. She already had several ideas about how to accomplish that.

Yes, this day was going to be perfect. Everything would be set up by the time they got there, and then she would only have to provide a suitable distraction and a small nudge…

Celestia finished her conversation with the toady and picked up a second glass of wine as she strolled further. Holding the drink in her field provided the cover she needed to begin. Casting two spells at once was trivial, though she did miss something or other that Blueblood came over to babble in her ear while she was casting the warding. Celestia opted to not ask him to repeat himself; odds were that whatever it was hadn’t been worth hearing.

Railing unlatched and warding in place, Celestia excused herself from Blueblood’s dubious company and made her way into the ship’s cabin, ducking to get her horn clear of the door. She noticed that Blueblood was still trailing after her and smiled. She was about to get very lucky indeed. If her suggestion didn’t work on the captain, it would definitely work on the boor.

“Your Highness!” The helmspony jumped and let go of the wheel, but Celestia gave him a reassuring smile.

“No need to bow. I just came to thank you for the wonderful job you’re doing. I know piloting a yacht can be quite tricky, they’re often difficult, fussy ships.”

The helmspony chuckled. “Yes, Your Highness. They’re designed for comfort and for flashy looks, not for ease of flying.”

“Well you’re doing a marvelous job. You obviously know how to fly. I imagine you could skim her so close to the lake that we’d leave a wake without even touching the water, just from the breeze from our passing. Not that I’m asking you to!” She smiled, shaking her head. “But I’m quite certain you could, and it would be very thrilling. Impressive, even.”

She stood for just a beat, looking out the windows. “Lovely view too, but I shall leave you to it. Keep up the excellent work.”

“Thank you, Your Highness!” The helmspony actually blushed.

A tiny glance behind her showed Blueblood ducking into the cabin. Perfect. She hadn’t even finished crossing to the railing when the ship began to lose altitude.

The water took up most of the horizon now, and only minutes later the ship was over it.

Celestia worked her way over to the railing, standing next to the now-unsafe gate where she’d come on board. The ship dipped lower and lower, until it was just above the waves. It slowed as it dipped; the pilot wasn’t an idiot, it seemed...unlike the stallion who was now standing in the midst of the crowd, declaiming about the vast wealth that had enabled him to hire the very best airship pilot in Canterlot.

Most ponies managed to not roll their eyes, a necessary skill among the upper class of Canterlot. Celestia didn’t either, but only said, “The view from the railing is delightful, one could nearly reach out and touch the waves. Don’t you agree, Blueblood?”

“Most definitely, Auntie Celestia,” he said, predictably trotting over to stand at her side. She waited, letting him settle in next to her, giving him a welcoming nod and smile. Then she shifted a mere hoof’s breadth—though one of her own broad hooves, admittedly—to the side. Unconsciously, Blueblood shifted too, maintaining his position relative to her.

It was all she could do to not wear a feral grin. Blueblood started prattling on again, and she smiled and nodded and blandly agreed, while every so often shifting just a bit. He was almost directly in front of the gap now, and not even aware of it.

Then, “Blueblood! Old chap!” sounded from the other side of the ship, and the prince wheeled and left with only a cursory, “Excuse me, Your Highness.”

Celestia allowed herself the tiniest possible snort. That had been more than a little rude, though the real annoyance was the interruption to her little gambit. Still, that was Blueblood for you. He was actually shockingly egalitarian, in that he treated absolutely everyone thoughtlessly, even Princess Celestia herself.

Well, there was a lot of lake, they’d be over it for a while. She’d merely have to try again.

It took almost half an hour, and she’d had to subtly intervene to keep the pilot from sending the ship up higher, but she finally got Blueblood back next to the gate in the railing, and back engaged in his usual prattle. She shifted, shifted, shifted, glee and tension both rising secretly within her as she finally got him situation directly in front of the gap. He was so focused on the nonsense he was spouting he hadn’t noticed. She changed the direction of her shifting, rotating now, making him turn.

He was right in front of the gap. His back was to it. All she needed now was a quick startle. Opportunity was almost here… Almost, almost, almost…

The waiter she’d been watching from the corner of her eye passed within reach. She snagged an orderve in her magic and tangled the hooves of the poor stallion at the same time. He flew to the ground only a wing’s length away, and Celestia startled dramatically at the crash, spreading out her wings out wide and angling them just so.

The sudden fan of massive feathers in front of Blueblood was so surprising that he leaped backward...into a gate that swung open freely as he touched it.

Triumph and glee rushed through Celestia as the odious prince hit the water with a splash. Centuries of practice, however, kept her features smooth, her expression merely of mild dismay as she exclaimed, “Oh dear, Blueblood has fallen overboard! Someone please have the pilot stop the ship, and can someone find a rope to throw him, perhaps?”

Already well behind the still moving airship, Blueblood surfaced with a sputter, and Celestia allowed her lips to curve ever so slightly.

Rake in the lake