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On a world where magic exists only in the distant past, a young unicorn Princess is utterly convinced she won't live to see the day when it is rediscovered. Thus, she doesn't know what to think when, after a particularly nasty run-in with orbiting procedures, it changes her life forever.

Updates Mondays, if ready. Or, on Patreon, when ready.

And last but not least, many thanks to Shooting Star for graciously permitting me to use his OC, and to Gerandakis for the editing assist!

Rewrite/translation to past tense started 6/21/2020. There's a few changes to the wording being made, so it flows better, but all the same events are taking place in all the same places, and all the same words are being said. I'd recommend a re-read for the details being added, but it's not necessary.

Chapters (32)
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Comments ( 280 )

This is a great story can't wait for more:twilightsmile:

Okay, this does sound fun. Watched... at whatever sporadic pace my reading remains to be...

Curious as to what the ship is doing, or why her home has an entire fleet, but I'm sure we will find out. If we can assume some level of continuity, is this the invasion force incident where the crew of the supership helped stop the whole thing with the help of said eight-year-old? That will be a large butterfly to happen, if so. Then again, some of the previous versions confused me a bit. There were a lot of crazy wars, refugees, and flat weird incidents that happened in them...

Why the **** are her parents banging in space?! I'm fairly sure that NASA figured out that there are physical issues with that in 0-G, let alone the bouncing off walls and the mentioned containment issues...

This is not the invasion force incident, no- this is some time before that was to happen, by a month or so, as I recall. Speaking of which, since Flutters won't be around to make rumors of a pegasus that could fly, the invasion force incident probably won't happen this time around.

And that is a very good question. Good thing Short Flight wants nothing to do with it, eh?

Good answer for a strange question.

Of course, being the one who has magic herself this time around will probably make things go a LOT different then...

Yes, yes it very well might.

Not to mention, if you happen to remember what else happened to her when she got magic in The First Equestrian Starliner...

Huh, interesting. So magic hasn't simply fallen out of use, it actually vanished. Until new information proves otherwise, I blame Tirek.

Short flight awakens quickly to the buzzing of her communicator.


because it’s not unheardof for a Hands

unheard-of; may also be a good time to uppercase or add the dots in HANDS since you're revealing that it's an acronym that's been shortened from common usage.

Man do I love devious characters. This should be fun. :D

So, she's getting the horn and hooves upgraded before "surprise, wings!" happens. I supposed that's helpful since it gets her safely back into space before awkward questions get asked. I'm also assuming that she just infected the resupply crew.
...Something tells me she's going to end up a lot more fabled by the time this all finishes. And that's not including whatever the rest of the actual plot is!


And the Hands vs H.A.N.D.S... Well, the very first time they were mentioned (in the last chapter) it was marked out as an abbreviation...

Hmmm, interesting background you've chosen to go with (assuming the historical records are accurate).

Quick note, during the burn, you wrote conscience when you meant consciousness.

Well this is certainly interesting, she's one hard-working princess, no? Alas, that age-old problem of finding reliably capable workers for a reasonable wage continues, hopefully Miss. Skies turns out to be a good fit?

One heck of a technologically regressed society you've put together here.

... And you're mentioning that now, rather than last chapter, when said regression was specified...? I have to admit, I'm curious why.

I forgot to then, and the crash statistics, combined with the "eh, who cares" attitude prevalent reminded me.

Ahh... Yeah, they backslid rather far when they lost the ability to use much of their tech, didn't they?

Yeah, I say technologically regressed, but there's a heck of a lot of social regression implied in both the history lesson last chapter and the two encounters with missing orbital control ponies. It takes a heck of a lot of social apathy for missing a shift at Orbital Control to not be at least instant career suicide. And for it to be a usual part of life is pretty telling too.

... I suppose there is, isn't there? I actually never considered it in a social light... That social regression is what leaves them not really caring about each other all that much, right?

... And yeah, there's a very few of them, like Short Flight herself (and, apparently, Shooting Star), that seem to understand what's really at stake... and care.

Going back to last chapter's comment discussion, wow dystopia abounds. You can't fire us for making out in the middle of the orbital control control room, when you were (probably) the one that hired us? Really? Oh the differences between our fallen pony society and current day human society. The troubles those MIA night shift OTC ponies would be in if they had missed an ATC shift like that, they probably wouldn't even be able to count the number of lawsuits they'd be facing if there'd been a crash during a missed shift, heck some sort of charges for negligence resulting in injury/death might be in their future too. Though it isn't like the previous shift worker would tend to leave before they got there in today's society.

Ooh a thestral, neat, multiple ways this is a good fit for her job wise.

And her mana pathways continue to expand, complete with an episode of RCV and unicorns smacking down earth ponies. She's drawing quite a bit right now. Be interesting to see if it turns out to be her normal level in the end, or if she's having flares above her level due to the newness.

... Specifically, a filly smacking down two fully grown ponies simultaneously. In this magic-free world, earth ponies do not enjoy a strength advantage... but fillies have no business overpowering not one but two fully grown ponies simultaneously.

Yeah, that's a good point, I keep forgetting she's still a filly.

She's a wonderful princess, and a great boss. Reliability is more important than sheer speed, let's just see if Star can manage this last little challenge.

Tracking beacon activated. Let's see where this goes.

Also automatic thumbs up for realistically (un)professional traffic control

No cargo haulers? At all? What on earth are they doing up there?

Suspicious back pain is suspicious, I wonder what could be causing it...

And pirates, why does it always have to be pirates? I hope she scuttles the ship on her way out, it'd serve 'em right.

Spees Pierehts!!!!

Appropriate Soundtrack intensifies

Guess specialized models that aren't military are low priority in the regressed dystopia we've got here, which I actually can just about picture. Also, that's exactly what she should do as soon as she leaves, is make sure it's going to blow, stupid pirates deserve at the very least nothing for their trouble.

Excellent, more bat ponies. Spread the word Skies. Prejudice just means more potential high quality recruits for Flight.

Yeah, no little cargo haulers. Navy probably wants 'em, but her parents are too cheap... "Anything that ain't a gun, ain't necessary" or something.

... And yeah, pirates. It was all I could think of to drive the plot forwards, because the SoL was running out, and a timeskip would've made her feel invincible. Considering what else the pirate scene made possible over the next ten chapters, though, I still think it was a good idea.

Oh, them pirates get much, much less than nothing for their trouble. You might recall that her computers are programmed to lock down instantly against anypony other than her... and her ship is an interplanetary craft... and of course, as evidenced by her straight seven-gee burn, the gyroscopes are powerful enough to counter the effect of maximum thrust... which suggests a certain size class for the pirate vessel. Combined with how giving them her ship would be, as you & Ro say, more than they deserve, that also suggests certain unintended consequences that burn had on the pirates... And of course, she's already given them some negative capital. That 7g burn... effective shipboard gravity, pointed at a wall (and not a floor), of 7g... in a 7g field, any fall will produce a sudden stop equivalent to that produced by a fall seven times as high in a 1g field. So, a probably-fatal two-story fall could've been a pirate that happened to be standing (or drifting, technically, in 0g) on the wrong side of the airlock, just three feet away... That's likely what she tried to do with that burn, aside from the potential to overload whatever docking clamps they're using, and forcing their ship to tear free of hers. Which, apparently, didn't happen...

"A timeskip would have made her feel invincible"?
I think I know what you meant, but I'm not sure how well that actually said it...
Are you saying that it would be bad for the story if nothing at all happened, even if the alternative is random acts of piracy? At least that's what I think you meant.

I wonder if the pirate attack was at all related to the cargo she picked up the last time? I mean, it was two months, so it's not likely but I do have to wonder how common the cargo trips are...

It's been nice so far. Good job with worldbuilding, and I'm certainly on my toes trying to figure out what'll happen next.

Little question about the transporters, though -- wasn't it a transporter that resulted in the ascension in your other story? Are these using a different enough technology that it disrupts magic rather than transfers it?

I'm also curious as to if she's contagious (yet?) and how many ponies will be getting magic back in the near future. After all, I believe she did, after all, step hoof on the planet. Or is it limited by time she's had it and area, in which case it may only be the station or new employees?

Also, let me see if I'm reading this right. The first set of soreness was the general upgrade for Earth ponies and the hoofgrip, or perhaps just general we-have-magic upgrades. I think she got her horn tweaked somewhere in there, and she's now soon to have a Wing Surprise in the near future. Did that cover everything?

Yeah... because if I didn't apply pirates or other trouble, my only other option would be to timeskip to some kind of major development, and our Princess would start feeling like a Mary Sue story, where the main characters never face much true opposition...

... She still gets there, worry not, but she doesn't feel like some indestructible goddess while she's at it.

And yeah, different transporters. Athena's transporters are built by a people that felt weak, and so they're engineered to strengthen any energy bonds present (which happened to strengthen magic, and cause ascensions...). These transporters were built by a people that felt magical and indestructible... which became their downfall, because they hadn't taken their magic properly into account, so of course it damaged their magic...

Ah, I think I see.

The transporter thing sounds weirdly philosophical, by the way. :P

Philosophical? You mean, the whole energy bond thing?

... Yeah, kinda. Because someone building Athena got philosophical... and if you think about it, something designed to reinforce energy bonds won't do anything if there isn't any bond to reinforce, right? Which made it the 'safe' way for them to build the thing...

Now that was a wonderful use of limited options, very resourceful. But really, this goes down in orbit right over the (I assume) capitol, and not even a picket ship shows up to investigate? That's just sad man.

Yeah, the capitol planet... and only planet in the nation, but still, it goes down in orbit involving the Princess' ship, and... Bonus- she had, when the pirates first arrived, been in orbit with the fleet...

Is this based off of another story? The premise seems very familiar.

... Kinda.

Princess Short Flight, and her home system, were first invented as somewhere for Twilight & friends to encounter with the Starship Athena, in First Equestrian Starliner. Both have received much more development than they did there, but that's where the inspiration for this story came from.

I get the impression that their space force ought to be hauled out and shot.
The princess' ship, over their capitol planet, with a very obvious long-term pirate takeover, and no one notices? :twilightoops:

Now that's proper space-going redundancy!
Aside from the heat supply. I do find it odd that the pirates didn't notice the weaponry or backup oxygen, though, or that they let enough power sneak back into the reserves to restart whatever reactor they use. I mean, considering that they sneakily crippled all the engines, drained the power and air, welded the airlocks, and gassed the place before that...
It seems like they were oddly well-informed.
Only the solar paint and a minor screwup on their part made their sabotage repairable, which I have to guess they didn't expect. Or maybe they wanted her to have enough power left to call home, at which point they'd try to catch her again? Even then, though, I'm guessing they weren't expecting the ship to be armed, or the solar paint to supply additional power.

I'm surprised that she had enough spare power to run the weaponry and do a defrost before she had to start the reactors up, though. I bet the pirates certainly were!

Yeah, they wanted her to light up her suit transmitters and beg for help... which they would then "provide", and probably take her hostage.

Their fatal error... had been in assuming the Princess was a "typical" pony. They didn't realize she had a combat vessel (and a rather well-camouflaged one at that), nor that she saw fit to invest in (probably expensive) solar paint... Which, considering the power requirements, the thing that took the most power, out of what she did... The reactors only had to shift a few control rods, and go passive once again; the turret didn't demand much power for itself, since she didn't light up the plasma cannon (it takes very little electricity to fire a machinegun or launch a missile...)... But the gyroscopes are heavy, and have to be spinning very fast to control the ship's rotation, making them easily the heaviest demand. But, they also had plenty of time, and very little friction in a zero-air, zero-gravity environment, while she ran to the weapon...

And with how big this ship is, considering it had direct line-of-sight to the sun and is fully coated in solar paint that probably has a better efficiency than the panels on, say, the Hubble Space Telescope... she had plenty of power to do that, so long as she was willing to wait long enough for the power cells to charge before asking the gyros for that roll. That would've burned a decent amount of power, relatively speaking...

Wow, those yahoos were like the Somali's of space piracy, just hauling their prisoners around with them on boarding actions?

Yeah, something like that... either that, or they ditched her there once Short's thing with the engines pushed the orbit well beyond the maximum capability of the pirate vessel, so they decided to shed as much weight as they could, and it was easier to dump Coils in Short's ship than to dump her overboard... Or something. I'm not entirely sure on that front.

Was that that really cool artist on DA? Or is the name coincidental?


Anyway, that was interesting. We get confirmation of spoilers that we were admittedly guessing at, and now there's going to be some fun conversations ("b**** I'm a princess!" should be part of that; it might be fun--if a bit OOC. I'm kidding, but it would be fun to entertain.) and reorbiting the ship going on soon.

I hope she has insurance, because those repairs are going to be expensive, and I get the impression that her parents wouldn't want to pay and that she doesn't want to reveal (or use) her savings.

We'll also ignore the "I have no idea why there's suddenly another pony on my ship, but the plot demands it" moment. :D It's honestly not bad. I mean, it's a bit odd, but their conversation kinda-sorta explains things. Maybe she was a distraction (frame the CEO or whoever/make people think it was an attempt on her not the Princess) or perhaps they just wanted her disposed of. Pirates: who knows...

Yeah, the name's coincidental... and she does not have insurance- with how careless this civilization has proven to be, probably nopony does.

Keep it coming, this is entertaining.

And she's down. Congrats, Flight. It's a good thing telekinesis seems nearly instinctive cause that was quite the oversight she committed before re-entry.

Who knows, maybe they will listen next time, or maybe you can use their experience to help fund your ship refit, hehehe.

Daaaang, that's some serious wattage she's pulling, keeping that scrapheap in one piece all the way through the atmosphere. Can't wait to see what she gets up to when she figures out how to use this stuff deliberately.

This is a very enjoyable story.

So they live horse age lives? Oof, we are as mayflies.

I wish I could help, but I'm in the same boat, just without the patreon or ko-fi. Hope for the best.

The 40 year lifespan explains why fillies are flying spaceships.

Reminds me of Kes in Star Trek Voyager - her people only live for 9 years.

Her poor parents. I bet they were making out when the ship crashed, too... :rainbowlaugh:

It's going to be hilarious watching her try to explain how she landed that. Someone's bound to ask questions, even in their own head.

Plus there's the bit where she has wings now.

Although I have to wonder how her ship is supposed to have landing gear. I was thinking of some of the Star Trek ships where they can land but aren't really meant to...
I mean, airplanes have them, but on something spaceworthy of the size that's implied (temperatures and vacuum, and massive weight)... how is that physically possible? Admittedly, NASA's working on nitinol metal tires, but that only goes so far. The landers are only a ton or few, and even the space shuttle is probably tiny compared to her ship.

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