• Published 6th Mar 2012
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Pinkie Pie's Wonderful Flying Machine - OmegaPony11



Join an adventure in the skies above as the Mane Six journey past Equestria's borders, across oceans, and into new lands of wonder and technology. Follow their journey in Pinkie Pie's Wonderful Flying Machine!

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The Maiden Voyage

Chapter 2: The Maiden Voyage


Rarity smiled as she took a step back to acknowledge her work. The vessel was much, much more splendid after a month of hard work, with every aspect of the airship given her critical eye. Draped over the side of the balloons were the flags of Equestria. The wooden figureheads of the Princesses were secured to prow of the ship, ready to lead the ship towards discovery.

The insides of the main decks were nothing to sneeze at either. While their budget was not enough to convert the airship into a complete luxury liner, Rarity was able to make it comfortable even to her own standards. Fine furniture made for excellent décor, while the windows were framed in well-crafted brass. The logbook sat on an oak pedestal in the ship’s entrance, and was bound in wood and cloth with gold inlay.

Only the quarters where her friends would be sleeping in as well as the lower decks were untouched. Below the main decks were utility areas like the engine room and the cargo holds, places on the ship that Rarity never imagined she would be going into, and therefore had no need to spruce them up. As for the quarters, as much as she wanted to, her friends’ rooms were their own to work with. For her own room, Rarity brought over many necessities from her home, including her favourite lounging chair and several boxes of supplies for mending and creating clothes, in the event they needed to look their best for Mechanon. She also packed one closet of her very best ensembles for quick choices without the need to make something from scratch.

Maybe two closets, as well as a full armoire of my choicest hats. Who knows what could be considered fashionable or insulting in a new land. I need to be prepared. Rarity chuckled to herself as she fell onto her chair. Things were turning out quite all right.

“If you’re quite done lounging about, maybe you can help us load the ship with supplies!” Rarity looked out the window to see Applejack and Rainbow Dash pushing large crates towards the airship. They were filled with mundane supplies needed for a long voyage, including ample stores of food and equipment for repair and maintenance.

“I’ll be down in a minute,” she replied, though the idea of pushing those heavy, dirty boxes made her hooves linger. As she turned to the main hall, she saw Twilight levitating several chests and boxes into her quarters. Filled with books, no doubt, Rarity thought.

“Twilight, dear, we’re going on a fantastic voyage and you’re bringing your entire library?” Rarity chided, if only half-heartedly. Nothing could be said to get that magical mare to consider leaving her books; every tome and reference guide was going to be “necessary” for their trip. Of course, knowing Twilight, every book had a specialized purpose.

“These books will help us during our travels,” Twilight said, “Just look. ‘Flora and Fauna, Exotic and Engaging.’ ‘All Things Nautical.’ ‘What to do in the event of disaster’, that’s a key book. ‘Discovery for dunderheads’, won’t be needing that myself, but you never know. Mark my words, Rarity, all these books will prove useful. I also brought several instruments for experiments and recording every detail.”

“Did you take a look at Pinkie’s map?” Rarity asked as Twilight placed all her books in alphabetical order, “It felt strange looking at it. An uncanny feeling, like the map shouldn’t really exist.”

“Now that you mention it, that map was kind of odd.” Twilight paused her sorting, contemplating this. “I took a look myself, and no altas mentioned any place like Mechanon. Still, Pinkie did say that Mechanon was far across the ocean, and no pegasi or ship was been able to fly that far. I am curious how this Cogworks made it across. Pinkie never explained.”

That was a fair point. How did one pony travel such a distance? Perhaps Pinkie found some sort of design of a ship used by Cogworks and based her work off of that? It was the only sensible answer.

Of course, this was Pinkie Pie they were talking about. One tossed “sensible” right out the window when she was involved.

“I’m not worried,” Twilight said as she opened another box full of scrolls and quills, “Pinkie wouldn’t steer us into danger or some false promise. Maybe steer us to a party or what appears to be a wild goose chase, but never anywhere she knew was not worth it.”

The interest in the voyage coming from Twilight did seem to lighten Rarity’s already bright spirits. This was a vacation for Twilight: to learn and study new and interesting things few ponies would ever have a chance to learn. As Twilight hummed along, placing what appeared to be hundreds of scrolls and quills in a shelf, a ringing of a bell echoed through the ship.

Rarity looked up to see several small bells ringing on a thin piece of string near a brass cone connected to a tube. The tube stretched into the floorboards until it went into the hull of the ship. Twilight shrugged when Rarity passed her quizzical look on to her, and they both approached the cone with interest.

“Hey, is this thing on?” said a familiar voice from the cone, “Testing! Testing! Cookies! Chocolate!”

“Pinkie?” Rarity replied, “We can hear you fine, dear.”

“Oh! Great!” A giggle echoed through the communication implement before Pinkie cleared her throat. “All crew are to assemble in the helm of the ship at… really soon. Thirteen-hundred doesn’t sound very fun. Also feels unlucky. We’ll just go for one o’clock!”

Together Rarity and Twilight made their way through the halls until they were in the helm of the ship. The command deck was not a place Rarity spent too much time decorating, as various tools and instruments for control of the ship were here, and she knew better than to poke any buttons or pull levers. The room was surrounded by clear windows, each big enough for a pony to look and see the world around them. In the center of the room was the ship’s wheel, made from gleaming, polished wood.

Standing before the wheel was Pinkie Pie, decked in a marine officer’s long coat and three-pointed hat made by Rarity for the occasion. The colours of the clothes were light blue with white lining, just like the sky. A white feather was pinned on the right side of the hat. Pinkie was grinning ear to ear, as was expected from a pony who was so close to success on her grandest project to date.

Fluttershy was already in the room with Pinkie and Applejack, and Rainbow Dash soon joined them. Once the group was together, Pinkie’s expression turned stern, though it appeared to take a great deal of effort to keep her face steady.

“We are almost ready for our maiden voyage tomorrow!” Pinkie announced, “There are just a few things missing. Today, we reveal to Ponyville and to the world what’s been going on in our big top! First, we need to fix a really big problem right away!”

“What problem?” Twilight asked, “Is it the Chrysalidas? I did some adjustments earlier today to get the energy coefficient at a nominal level…”

Pinkie shook her head. “Engine is running fine; the ship will have liftoff.”

“It can’t be the weather,” Rainbow added, “I checked all the reports from here to the west coast, and they all say clear skies for the next two weeks. At the rate we’ll be flying, we’ll be past the coast in a day!”

“Is it the supplies?” Applejack looked frustrated as she looked out a port side window towards the ground. “I’m sure we have enough food to last the journey. Brought plenty of apples, cider, baking goods and accessories, long enough to keep us afloat until we reach Mechanon.”

“It’s not the food, or weather, or any of that, silly fillies!” Pinkie ran over to the side of the helm and pointed towards the side of the ship. “This baby needs a name! We can’t just sail off into the sky without a name.”

That is a fair point, Rarity conceded after thinking it over. A ship without a name was just not proper. What name would they decide on however?

“What about Enterprise?” Twilight suggested. Everypony began to laugh at the idea, leaving only Twilight to fume. After the laughing stopped, Fluttershy stepped forward, much to everypony’s surprise.

“How about ‘Harmony’,” said Fluttershy, “Only if you think so, Pinkie. I just thought it would make sense; we are the Elements of Harmony, and this ship could be like a giant showing of our friendship.”

“A testament to our unity!” Rarity exclaimed, “Oh Fluttershy, how brilliant! That is a wonderful name for a fine vessel we all worked so hard on.”

“To the Harmony!” Pinkie called out, placing her right hoof in the air towards the group. The others soon echoed the name of the airship and followed suit, until all six hooves were touching. Wide grins, laughter, and great cheer filled the command deck to such a degree that not even the presence of Nightmare Moon and Discord combined could take them down.

***

“But Rarity, I want to go too!”

Rarity kept switching hats as Sweetie Belle complained about not being able to go. Today was the day of the first flight, and there was little time to get to the opening ceremony. The ship was loaded and ready to go, but she was not. For such an event, Rarity simply had to look her best in front of Ponyville, the Princesses, and the world.

Right, Rarity thought as she switched out a wide brimmed sunhat with a more stylish, eye-catching, head-turning fascinator, no pressure. Just get ready and go. Explain to Sweetie Belle as to why she can’t go even though you’ve done so over and over and over since you first told her.

“I know you want to go, dear, and I wish you could come too,” Rarity explained as she levitated an eye curler to her lashes, “But a voyage like this is wrought with danger…”

“And excitement!”

“There simply isn’t enough room on board.”

“I can sleep on the floor! Please Rarity! What if my cutie mark is waiting for me across the ocean?”

Rarity let out an exasperated sigh. “I am almost certain Applejack is having the same discussion with Applebloom, and Rainbow Dash is likely hounded by Scootaloo.” She turned to her sister with the brightest smile she could manage.

“Sweetie Belle, I would love nothing more that to take you along, but this is the ship’s first voyage, and who knows what will happen? I’d rather sleep soundly knowing you’re safe on firm ground than in the air where accidents will happen.”

Sweetie Belle was about to protest when Rarity took her in a tight embrace. The two stayed together for a while, holding each other close for what was to be last time in a couple months. A quick glance of the clock and Rarity’s eyes widened.

“Oh dear, there is fashionably late and there is just rude late!” Quickly deciding on the wide-brimmed hat, she gave Sweetie Belle a quick kiss to her forehead before galloping out of Carousel Boutique and towards Sweet Apple Acres.

A sizable crowd was already there, with the entire population of Ponyville in attendance. As with all of Pinkie’s parties, streamers, confetti, balloons, and all sorts of tables covered in all manner of confection were placed throughout the grounds. Before Rarity could question how Pinkie had the time to get the airship ready and set up such a massive party, she saw what appeared to be a firing line of her signature party cannons.

Ponies from near and far had come to see the commotion, each wondering just as Rarity did what was under the tent. She allowed herself a silent chuckle; she knew, and all of Equestria would know soon enough as well.

Among the outdoor party guests, she could see her friends mingling before their travels would begin. Applejack was saying her goodbyes to her family, while Fluttershy was instructing Snips and Snails, of all ponies on all the fine details of taking care of her animals. Rainbow Dash was talking to members of her fan club, while Pinkie was nowhere to be seen. With Spike on her back, Twilight approached Rarity with a smile.

“Hello Rarity. Nice hat,” Twilight said, “We’re just waiting for the Princesses now. When they arrive, we’ll have to remove the tent. Do you think your magic is up to it?”

“It may not be as powerful as your abilities, darling, but I believe I can manage.” A trumpet in the distance resounded like thunder as the entire congregation turned towards Canterlot in the distance. From the sky came a golden chariot pulled by two of Equestrian Royal Guards, with Princess Celestia and Princess Luna aboard.

The chariot made several passes around the tent with the regal sisters waving towards the populace. Seeing Twilight’s horn glow bright with magic, Rarity did the same, matching the movements of spell lines as they began to grip and pull at the massive tent.

One by one, poles were wrenched from the ground and laid gently to the side as ropes were untied and let loose. Lifting the canvas like a great bedsheet, the two unicorns raised the tent to the sky. They worked well as a team, with Twilight providing the power for the task while Rarity’s magic folded the tent with expert precision. The crowds around them gasped as they looked at the Harmony, the airship sitting idle as it awaited flight.

Princess Luna leaned over the edge of the chariot, eyes wide with glee as she looked on at the ship from the sky. With a final pass over the now-revealed Harmony, the chariot came down gently to the ground, allowing both Princesses to depart. As Luna rushed towards the ship to take a closer look, Celestia stood as serene as ever, a smile on her face as she looked to the ponies around her.

“Excellent likenesses,” Luna said as she looked over the figureheads, “It will be like I am going in spirit, though I wish I could go myself. Such a marvel! How I wish I had more time to study all of its intricacies…”

“My little ponies,” said Celestia as she looked over at the six, “In all my life, I have never seen such a work as this airship, and I have lived for a very long time. It is a marvellous vessel, and not because of its size or ability.

It is because friendship built this airship, and it will be friendship that guides you all towards the horizon. Remember that the work you put into this ship together does not end with construction, but with the flight of the Harmony and your exploration of whatever lies beyond Equestria’s borders. As you travel across the skies in the Harmony, know that friendship, is something that will be constant. Whether it is here or in a foreign land, the unity you six have shown is something that can be found in the hearts of all ponies, near and far.”

Rarity always felt lightheaded when the Princess referred to them directly. It was still an experience to have the attention of Celestia herself upon her and her friends. If you had asked Rarity ten years ago if she would ever be in such a position, she would have said, “Oh yes, absolutely. All my dresses will be the talk of Canterlot and beyond!”

Here she was along with five other unassuming ponies who had saved Equestria from disaster, twice, and about to do what no pony had ever done. Again. It was something Rarity took a slice of pride in. Perhaps a rather large slice.

“Now then,” Celestia said as she looked to her sister who was still gawking at the machine, “Luna? Would you like to do the honours?”

“Oh!” Luna turned her head, almost begging with her eyes if she could inspect the ship longer. “Very well. All yon fillies and gentlecolts in attendance this morn, we bid thee welcome!”

“On this day, we do celebrate the maiden voyage of yonder vessel into the great unknown, beyond the borders of our fair land and into places unknown. Let us wish these brave ponies an informative, pleasant, and above all safe journey into the blue sky and lands so far away.”

Princess Luna’s horn began to glow, magic gripping a bottle of champagne from the chariot. With grace, the bottle floated through the air, every eye watching as it moved to the bow of the ship.

“It is with great honour and pleasure that we, Princess Celestia and Princess Luna of Equestria, hereby give this vessel and all others of its class the name Harmony! May the sun and the moon act as a beacon, and know that we watch over you, no matter where you go.”

The champagne bottle struck the bow with force, the glass shattering and the bubbly splashing about a safe distance from any spectators. With a yank of the rope, Pinkie lowered stairway to the Harmony before turning back to the Princesses. Pinkie gave them a sharp salute with the most serious face Rarity had ever seen Pinkie give, before convulsing in a fit of giggles.

“Crew and passengers!” Pinkie announced, “All aboard! All aboard!”

One by one, the six said their goodbyes to family and friends before climbing up the stairs to the Harmony. Rarity felt her eyes water when she gave her parents tight embraces; she would not see them for a long time, and while she was an independent mare, she did love her parents and enjoyed their company.

There was no sign of Sweetie Belle at the goodbyes, however. Perhaps she did not want to see her big sister enter the ship. Or more likely…

No, Rarity thought as she took each step into the main deck slowly, she wouldn’t. They wouldn’t. We told them it would be too dangerous.

Oh who am I kidding? All three of them are likely on the ship. I’m going to walk in and then

“Surprise!” An all too familiar trio of fillies were waiting on the deck as Rarity stepped through the threshold. Sure enough, Applebloom, Scootaloo, and Sweetie Belle were standing with Fluttershy, shining smiles on their faces. The sounds of gears grinding against chains alerted them that the stairs were being pulled up and that first flight was to be underway.

Rarity couldn’t help but shake her head at the sight of them; instead of enjoying the trip, she was now going to be responsible for keeping Sweetie Belle safe. Thankfully she was not alone, as Applejack was showing displeasure as well towards Applebloom.

“What in tarnation are you doing here, missy?” Applejack asked sternly, “You’re supposed to be back on solid ground with Big Macintosh and Granny Smith.”

“We asked Pinkie if we could come to,” Applebloom replied, “And she said ‘the more the merrier’, so here we are!”

“What about your parents?” Twilight raised a brow. “Aren’t they going to be worried?”

“We asked them and they said yes!” Scootaloo jumped up and down with glee, easily excited to be going on the journey with her friends. “We told them we’re going with the very ponies who got rid of Nightmare Moon and Discord! They had to figure if we were safe anywhere it would be with you six.”

“Attention please!” Pinkie’s voice came from a nearby brass cone, “We will have liftoff in fifteen minutes. Please come to the command deck to have the best view and then we can party! Woohoo!”

“Cutie Mark Crusader Airship Explorers! Yay!” The three fillies dashed off up the stairs towards the command deck, leaving only a Rarity and the others to follow behind. Rarity still was still hesitant about the idea of having to care for her sister for months in foreign lands, and as she looked to Applejack who should have had a matching a look of frustration, instead had a smile on her lips.

They made their way to the command deck quickly, with Pinkie checking various instruments and Twilight moving to join her. Each pony took a separate space on the deck, each looking down on Ponyville below through the great windows. Rarity felt that pang of excitement in her chest; while they were not as high as they were during their trip to Cloudsdale, it was always a thrill to be so elevated above the world.

She suddenly felt the brush of a coat rub against her leg, and looked down to see Sweetie Belle standing beside her, smile bright and cheery. Her face was painted with excitement, and Rarity couldn’t help but return the smile. There was just no way to stay mad at those green eyes.

“Scotty, how are the engines doing?” asked Pinkie as she took the ship wheel in her hooves.

Mageia Chrysalidas is running at optimal levels,” Twilight said, “Just please don’t call me Scotty. Main propellers are active.”

A loud hum could be heard all around them as the engines came to life. Bright violet energy flowed from cable lines throughout the command deck, all starting from the engineering console Twilight watched over. Rarity could feel the magical energy of the crystal flowing through what Twilight had called “ley lines” as they gave energy to every part in the ship.

The massive propellers at the ship’s sides began to turn slowly, huge metal blades swirling as the Princesses, along with their guards, helped clear the liftoff area of the spectators. As the blades spun faster and faster, huge clouds of dust swept from the ground, only to be contained by the princesses’ magic.

“Activating thrust propellers,” Twilight said as she pressed her hoof against a lever. Loud clunking noises echoed as several smaller propeller drives moved into place. Pinkie explained that each of the thrust fans moved on swivels that allowed the Harmony to turn while in flight.

Rarity looked down to see that the Princesses, unaffected by the dust storms caused by liftoff, looking up as the ship began its slow ascent. From their protective barrier, the crowd waved its goodbyes, with Celestia and Luna soon doing the same once the ship had achieved high enough altitude.

As the ship continued to climb, Rarity wrapped a foreleg around Sweetie Belle’s shoulders, holding her close as the sight of their parents continued to fade until the two were nothing but specks on the ground. This was it; there was no going back. The Harmony was going to Mechanon, and the sisters would have to be there for each other in a strange foreign land.

For some reason, it felt right. Rarity couldn’t be happier. She was sailing into the sky with her best friends and her little sister at her side. She pressed her face against the glass, looking down at the ponies who continued to send the Harmony well wishes. Sweetie Belle waved down to their parents, calling out to them despite the distance and the fact that they could not hear her. Rarity did the same, if not for her sister’s comfort, then definitely for her own.

“Auxiliary propellers are active,” Twilight reported, “All systems are go. Pinkie? We’re ready.”

Standing upright on her hind hooves with one foreleg on the ship’s wheel and another on the command lever, Pinkie took a deep breath as she looked out to the sky before her. Rarity followed her gaze, watching as clouds drifted by around them as their ascent became slower.

The enormity of the situation left her breathless like never before. They were even higher than Cloudsdale now, and below, the lands of Equestria resembled a patchwork quilt, with all the little houses and buildings appearing like foals’ toys. From her spot she could see her boutique, Twilight’s library, and all of Ponyville below. In the distance, Canterlot looked little more than a magical doll’s castle.

A clicking noise came from the command lever as Pinkie pushed it slowly from “Stop” to “One Quarter”. The Harmony then began to move slowly forward, the great balloon spearheading the way for the rest of the ship with the figureheads braving on through the clouds. Pinkie turned the dial to “One Half”, then to “Three Quarters”.

“Are you ready, Sweetie Belle?” Rarity asked as she held herself close to her sister. A new nervousness came about, one of excitement and worry. The vista of the Equestrian countryside gave an awe-striking view of the land, from the farmers’ fields, to the grassy plains and the mountainous regions. All of Equestria laid out before them, their home that they were now leaving.

“I can’t wait!” Sweetie Belle chimed, “It’s going to be great!”

“Maybe we’ll even get our cutie marks in Mechanon!” At Applebloom’s mention of cutie marks, the three little fillies gave a cheer, eager to get started on trying whatever they could to get their marks.

Rainbow Dash pressed her face against the glass, just as eager as the fillies. “Few pegasi have ever been this high!” she squealed in delight, “I can’t wait to get out there and fly alongside the Harmony! I bet I’m faster than this ship!”

“Just as long as you don’t get your head too up in the clouds, sugarcube,” Applejack said, “Still, Mechanon. A new country on the other side of the ocean. Makes travelling all the way to Manehattan by myself seem like a walk to the park. I’m glad I’m with all of you for this. Wouldn’t be caught on this ship so far from home otherwise.”

“As long as we’re together, we’ll be ok,” Fluttershy added, “It’s still a long way to Mechanon, though. I hope whoever we find will be friendly.”

“If they are anything like Uncle Cogworks, I wouldn’t worry too much,” Twilight said as she left her console, “Pinkie is looking forward to seeing him above all. We’re seeing a new world few ponies have ever seen before. This will be an adventure for the ages!”

“Okie dokey, everypony,” Pinkie said as she pressed her hoof against the command lever to the last section marked “Full”, “All ahead at full power! Let’s go!”

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