• Published 2nd Jan 2012
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Once More unto the Breach - Wheller

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Chapter 2

Chapter 2

The lifeboat drifted for most of the night, the rain didn’t let up for what felt like days. Eventually, however, the rain subsided, and passengers of the sole lifeboat considered themselves lucky that they were all still together and safe.

‘Does anypony see any of the other lifeboats?’ Rarity asked as she poked her head up and looked out into the open ocean. All of them looked around and were not able to see anything.

‘Oh I hope that they’re all right!’ Fluttershy said.

‘They’ll be fine, we went down near a busy local shipping lane, and they’ll get picked up by someone’, Princess Luna reassured her. ‘It won’t be long until we get picked up as well, I would suggest that we all try to get some sleep, we will need our strength in the morning’.

Everypony nodded and did their best to go to sleep.

Princess Luna frowned, she didn’t like lying to her friends, but the last thing they needed right now was a panic. Luna had no idea where they were, she couldn’t see the sky through the thick cloud cover, and she needed to see the stars in order to determine where she was. This wasn’t Equestria, there were no pegasi keeping the skies clear for such this purpose. Their best hope was that the currents would take them into the path of a patrolling Cheval warship; they were closer to their land at this point than anyone else.

Princess Luna sat down in the boat and spread her wings over the lifeboat to keep everypony warm, and soon enough found herself drifting off to sleep.

...

Everypony in the lifeboat was shaken awake at the loud crunching sound as the lifeboat came to a violent stop. They all sat up and discovered that they had run aground on an island beach. Everypony quickly climbed out of the lifeboat and drug it up onto the shore. Applejack in particular, was happy to be on dry land again, but the sudden transition from water to land was mildly disorienting for the earth pony, and she felt incredibly dizzy upon making land fall.

Applejack quickly recovered and shook the disorientation from her. ‘Okay! At leas’ we’re not gonna drown’, Applejack said, she looked around, all of her friends were wearing saddlebags which were mostly full. ‘Okay, everypony, dump out yer saddlebags, let’s see wot we gots ta work with here’.

They all walked up the beach, away from the tides as they crashed upon the shore and dumped out their saddlebags into a pile.

Applejack sorted through the pile and began looking at what they had, most of it was junk, there were a few scraps of food, three water bottles, Pinkie Pie’s briefcase full of explosives, a compass, and... ‘Okay, Ah gots ta ask, who does tha machete belong ta?’ Applejack asked, taking the long knife in her teeth.

Everypony looked around each other, they all were ignorant of who the machete belonged to, until Fluttershy raised a hoof. ‘It’s mine’.

Everypony raised an eyebrow at Fluttershy, who was the last pony they expected to own a tool like this. ‘Fluttershy? Why do ya have a machete?’ Applejack asked.

‘Sometimes, I need to go out into help a sick or hurt animal, and sometimes I need to cut through thick foliage! Uh... though, you all can use it if you want to...’ Fluttershy said meekly.

Pinkie Pie leaned close to Rainbow Dash. ‘Does it bother you that Fluttershy owns a machete?’ she asked.

‘More than you will ever know’, Rainbow Dash returned.

The hubbub about the machete died back down, and Applejack went back to sorting the useful from the not useful. Pinkie Pie looked up to see that Princess Luna was standing by herself looking up into the sky at the edge of the water. Pinkie Pie trotted over to her and sat down next to the Princess of the Night, offering her a pleasant smile.

‘Hi!’ Pinkie Pie said cheerfully. Princess Luna glanced at her for a moment before offering a response.

‘Hello’, Princess Luna said plainly.

‘Watcha doing?’ Pinkie Pie asked.

‘Well, I was trying to determine where we were... but that is proving to be futile, the clouds are thick, and I can’t even see the sun to know which direction is what’, Princess Luna said.

‘Oh! Okay...’ Pinkie Pie said.

Luna said nothing in response, Pinkie Pie waited a few moments before speaking again.

‘You’re... you’re not still mad at that whole Nightmare Night thing, are you?’ Pinkie Pie asked.

‘Of course not, I was never mad; I was simply putting on a show, doing what would be expected of one in my position, none of you remembered yet, after all’, Luna said, and lowered her voice slightly, more complaining to herself than to Pinkie Pie. ‘That, and Tia failed to understand that I was in the middle of something, “Luna! Get out more”, and “Luna! Ponyville is celebrating Nightmare Night, go have fun!” and “If you do not leave this castle of your own volition, I am throwing you from the top of the tower and locking the windows behind you, you have wings, you will be fine”’.

Pinkie Pie wasn’t sure how to respond to that, and instead, changed the subject.

‘Well, if you want to know the direction? Why don’t you use the compass that we have?’ Pinkie Pie asked.

‘Ahh... yes, the compass... well, see, if we are where I think we are... it would be best if you looked at the compass yourself’, Luna said. Pinkie Pie was more than a little confused, but turned to Applejack and called out to her to toss the compass over. Applejack obliged her and Pinkie Pie spread out her forelegs and caught the device expertly, she prodded at it, opening it and taking a close look. The compass was spinning around and around, Pinkie Pie watched it for a few minutes before she started to feel dizzy and quickly closed it and looked back to Princess Luna. ‘Now you see the dilemma’, she said. Pinkie Pie nodded, and got up to follow Princess Luna as she trotted back over to the rest of the group.

‘Everypony’, Princess Luna said, calling attention to the group who was still sorting through supplies. ‘Divide yourselves up into teams, we need to focus on the essentials, food, drinking water, and shelter, I will be back here tomorrow morning’.

‘Hey!’ Rainbow Dash cried out. ‘Where are you going?’

Princess Luna pointed a hoof upwards. ‘Up there’, she said, everypony turned and looked to discover a tall mountain in the background. ‘I am going to climb up the mountain, I should reach there by nightfall, and then I can use the positions of the stars to determine where exactly we are’.

‘Climb?’ Rainbow Dash asked. ‘You’ve got wings! You’re going to WALK?’

‘Yes’, Princess Luna said. ‘If we are, where I think we are, the last thing any of us will want to do is fly’, Princess Luna turned and looked directly at Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. ‘This goes for both of you; I want you to keep your hooves planted firmly on the ground until I return’.

‘What? Why? What’s so special about this island that we can’t fly?’ Rainbow Dash asked.

‘I do not want you all to get worked up if it turns out I am wrong...’ Princess Luna said, quickly being interrupted by Rainbow Dash.

‘Aww... come on!’ Rainbow Dash said.

‘Rainbow Dash’, Princess Luna said, her voice growing stern. ‘I am asking you, not as your princess and ruler, but as your friend, I need you to trust me. Please, do not fly, for any reason, not until I return’.

Rainbow Dash frowned at Princess Luna but eventually gave her a huffy ‘fine’, and turned her attention back to the supplies. Applejack started to divvy out the work amongst the group as Luna trotted away from their crowd and towards the jungle. Pinkie Pie chased after her and quickly caught up.

‘You want somepony to go with you?’ Pinkie Pie asked.

‘No’, Luna said. ‘That’s quite all right, I will be faster on my own, and the others could use your help here’.

‘But... won’t you get lonely?’ Pinkie Pie asked with a frown.

Princess Luna turned to her and offered her a smile. ‘Pinkie Pie, I thank you for your concern, however, I will be fine, I have endured not only one exile upon the moon, but two. Once in the old world, and once in the new, if anything, I am used to being alone’.

Pinkie Pie frowned. ‘That’s exactly the reason why you shouldn’t go by yourself now! You don’t have to be by yourself! You’ve got your friends with you!’

Princess Luna studied the pink party pony for a moment. ‘You are just going to follow me even if I tell you not to, aren’t you?’

‘Yep!’ Pinkie Pie proclaimed cheerfully.

‘Fine...’ Luna said, eventually giving in.

‘YAY!’ Pinkie Pie called out. ‘Everypony, I’m going with Princess Luna to climb the mountain!’

Applejack nodded her head at Pinkie Pie, and the pink party pony turned back to Princess Luna and offered her a bright smile. ‘Let’s go!’

Princess Luna nodded, and the princess and the pink party pony both disappeared into the jungle.