The Borg realize they can't assimilate anything with "magic". So they decide to destroy those races instead. The Voyager finds various Refuge races & bring them back with them to the Alpha Quadrant. But is that really what the magicals want?
I didn't commission it, or draw it, just stumbled on it, and was told the site doesn't mind. So long as I give credit, and link the original.
The Borg realize they can't assimilate anything with "magic". So they decide to destroy those races instead. The Voyager finds various Refuge races & bring them back with them to the Alpha Quadrant... but is that really what the magicals want?
We have encountered a starship, housing a collection of nomadic races that lost their world to the Borg. It is strange to hear so many intelligent races could have evolved on one planet... but their DNA confirms they all originated on the same world. It's even more bizarre that they seem to be anthropomorphic versions of creatures from Earth's mythology. I realize many planets follow down a similar evolutionary chain... but Unicorns? Pegasi? Griffins? DRAGONS? and DOZENS of others. I suppose it is true. Anything that can happen in the universe, is bound to happen somewhere.
They seem a peaceful race, unprepared for warfare much less dealings with the Borg... When asked why they didn't have any weapons on their ship, they seemed genuinely shocked they would need them. All they have is a primitive kind of deflector shield and an artificial environment bubble. They are using a sail to catch solar winds and have no warp capability... or even Awareness of the theory...
I feel... uneasy by that, but I'm sure the Prime Directive never meant to include lifeforms lost in space without warp.
We are helping them repair their deflector shield. As apparently they are having trouble maintaining it.
● Captain's Log, Supplementary:
Their deflector shield, as it turns out, is a form of 'runes' powered by a Dilithium crystal... I have no idea how it is actually working. The grooves seem to direct the energy in complex patterns which generates the desired effect... and one of the grooves was accidentally scratched. Which is causing their "Enchantment" to fall apart... These aliens are so primitive in their philosophies and terminology... yet they can hand carve such complex and exact patterns they can simulate the effects of a deflector dish...
● Captain's Log, Supplementary:
I can't repair their 'runes'. I just don't have enough understanding of their technology... if it can even be called that... We have been able to pick up signs that their environmental bubble is also failing... so many people walking down the halls... many of them children... The 'runes' just weren't meant for such strain.
● Captain's Log, Supplementary:
A Castle... a bloody CASTLE. An entire Castle made of Dilithium Crystals. Apparently, whatever threaten their planet, caused their matriarch to funnel the residents she could into the local castle. Then, in an act of sheer desperation, she carved several runes into it which miraculously survived the planet being Atomized!!! A bloody castle!!!
These lifeforms didn't even have basic light speed until they developed it after a month of drifting in space.
I need to process this.
● Captain's Log, Supplementary:
I can't leave them out here...
● Captain's Log, Supplementary: No planet is willing to take the Refugees we are currently fairing. Apparently, they all fear the Borg will hunt them down. Naturally I tried to explain that isn't typical Borg behavior. They go after civilizations, not random Refugees that got away... but each time we are sent away. Some planets even accuse us of hoarding demons.
● Captain's Log, Supplementary:
We discovered the reason Equus was destroyed instead of assimilated. The Borg genuinely do fear these lifeforms.
The Various Equusians came from planets with such a high percentage of Dilithium, they evolved with an organ of Organic Dilithium connected to a secondary circulatory system which pumps massive amount of concentrated energy through their bodies.
This gives them a number of abilities, some reality shattering in the case of the unicorns... but the biggest benefit in my eyes?... I can hardly believe it but... they are immune to Borg Nanobots... they cannot be assimilated... so the Borg chose to destroy them instead...
● Captain's Log, Supplementary:
I found out what happened to the Castle the Equusians had... apparently they moved it into an empty cargo bay... by "altering the bay's spacial parameters to make the inside bigger then the outside"... Apparently, these "enchanters" can create pocket dimensions and anchor them to a physical point in our universe... so long as the dimension does not exceed a ratio of every square foot containing 10 square feet of space... apparently, most of my crew has asked the enchanters to link such a pocket dimension to their quarters... I have asked them to utilize this technique to various other areas, such as labs and other cargo bays....
Apparently, they have a small farm in their castle and have given many of the seeds to Kes, as well as extended the botanist lab into a proper farm... which the 'Earth Ponies' are tending... as Earth pony "magic" gives them the ability to accelerate the growth of plants and stimulate soil, to make it more nourishing...
The ponies even set up an area to grow Dilithium crystals... Bringing these creatures onboard may very well be the best decision I made since we became lost in the Delta Quadrant.
● Captain's Log, Supplementary:
The "Dragons" have found a way to establish contact with the Alpha Quadrant... by sending the Federation President hand written letters...
Apparently, I know I am saying that word a lot but I am just so mystified by all the things these lifeforms can do... Regardless, Dragons are capable of converting matter to energy (within their "inner flame") and can extend this ability to send this energy through subspace... where it snaps back into matter once it gets to the person it was intended for... The Dragons just needed a picture of the Federation President, and then they could visualize the letter going to them...
They have never tried it at such a distance, and for a few days we thought it failed... but that seems to be because Starfleet was analyzing the letter and running various test on it before opening it... apparently a burst of flames in the Federation President's office was originally thought to be an assassination attempt...
Since then The Federation president and I have been exchanging letters.
The dragons sent them a larger on the inside box, filled with a special kind of parchment. APPARENTLY!!! When linked with a specific dragon, this parchment can be sent back to them when burned. I have some of the parchment being studied at the moment. It is made from a type of magical spider silk... coated in the Dragon's Venom from their fangs...
Apart from how unhygienic that is, the letters are proving invaluable. The Crystal Castle is filled with these spiders (and other animals). Who, despite not being able to speak in the traditional sense, are Sapient... bloody brilliant actually. And they have agreed to make as much silk as they can for the letters. The intelligent animals in the castle have developed a symbiotic relationship with the creatures of their world... it helps that most of the Sapient lifeforms are herbivores, and those that aren't survive on a diet of large insects and fish (which show no signs of heightened awareness on their planet, nor in the tanks they are bred in within the castle).
Regardless of how fascinating even the base animals of their world are, this means the dragons can create a steady supply of the letters and send them over to The Alpha Quadrant, with virtually no delay. Anything wrapped in the parchment will be safely sent through the fire, to the dragon in question.
So letters from the crews family have been sent in mass, without overwhelming the dragons.
.... I am actually starting to worry that given all these lifeforms specific powers... I may not be placing them purely into areas FOR the use of their powers, while neglecting their desires. The various leaders, of the races, have assured me their very culture had similar issues.
It is hard to justify allowing the races to express themselves, through their profession, when they have abilities tuned to very specific roles in society... the ponies are more flexible, as their magic adapts to their 'special talent' and makes them Masters of their crafts...
... still I don't want to just assign all of a specific race to a specific role, just because their "magic" makes them better at it... but this is an issue their society has been trying to balance for thousands of years.
● Captain's Log, Supplementary:
The "Cutie Mark Crusaders" are a menace... they almost make it not worth bringing the aliens onboard.
● Captain's Log, Supplementary:
We stumbled on another race with a Dilithium organ. Those, unlike the Equusians, these lifeforms' abilities have evolved purely for combat.
These ones call themselves "Shinobi"... apparently managed to board the Borg Cube and kill every last borg... but not in time to save their planet from orbital bombardment.
These Shinobi remind me a lot of Klingon culture. Though they are humanoid, they have an aggressive nature and revel in fighting...
They even go so far as to indoctrinate willing children into their army... though I don't agree, it seems to be more of an apprenticeship. With only the more qualified and well trained children even being allowed in combat situation outside sparring. With safe guards taken to ensure the kids' safety.
Thanks to the Unicorns "Expansion Charms"... the surviving Shinobi where given quarters and added to our crew...
This isn't just a matter of getting home in a timely fashion anymore. Getting these lifeforms back to the Federation may very well turn the tides of our war with the Borg.
The Borg feared these creatures for their potential... and now... they have a reason to want to see the genocide of every last Borg... Heaven forgive me... I will see they get the opportunity.
4 Years ago...When the Borg came to Shinobi World. They were unaware of the trouble these primitive lifeforms would cause. While the species seemed to have rudimentary technology, what attracted the Borg was the high levels of unrecognizable energy, coming off the planet. The readings were intriguing. It was definitely something worth adding to the Collective, despite the low levels of technology.
They used their specialized Tractor Beams, to carve out the ground around several cities, and brought them onboard their super cube vessel... that was their first mistake... the next was trying to jettison the cities into space, when they realized they couldn't be upgraded... They would have left the planet in peace at that point... but the humanoids fought back... the next mistake was, after the Borg realized how dangerous these "Shinobi" were, they disintegrated the planet...
That is when the "Jinchuriki" on their Cube vessels became so distraught... their demons took over... the Borg never stood a chance. Every last drone was torn to shreds, to the point not even their nanites could repair the damage... Their Borg Queen onboard, transmitted the records of the incident, to the other Borg Queens... and it was decided... all beings with Chakra must be purged, for fear they could end the Collective.
Then... they found Equus...
Naruto yawned as he woke up in the Hokage Tower. The one and only good thing about the Borg attack is that Sarutobi, the leader of the village and honorary grandfather to "The Demon Brat", told the clan leaders they could shove it (though in less kind, and more fancy, words). That every reason they had to keep Naruto from him was no longer valid. So the Hokage, honorable leader of Konoha village, brought Naruto into his home...
Naruto used to live in an orphanage... and then a cheap ass apartment after that matron kicked him out... Now he lived in a near palace, with literal servants catering to his every need. Though Sarutobi was making sure that didn't spoil the boy. Naruto was expected to clean up after himself... or at very least put his dirty dishes in the sink, and not leave them lying around.
Since the Borg attack, when Naruto was just 8, the Hokage had been raising him. Even training him, and making sure the Academy stopped trying to sabotage the boy's education. Even had a few instructors imprisoned if he recieved proof of such abuse of power.
Sarutobi had told Naruto why the villagers hated him, and upon the boy's pleading, removed the law to execute people who dare speak the truth of it. Naruto... was a Jinchuriki, a host for a demon. Sarutobi was adamant that Naruto was just the vessel, the prison, and not the demon itself... Of course the man kinda had to explain this, after the Borg attack, as the rage of the demon had resulted and Naruto, and the other Jinchuriki, massacring the Borg.
But Sarutobi was able to talk the boy down afterwards... and Naruto just ended up crying in the man's arms...
Later the man told Naruto everything about his past... and regaled the child of stories about his father... the last Hokage... that had been a shock... that knowledge had been kept secret from Naruto before the Borg. To keep him safe from his father's enemies, and to not poison the newest Generation... though that last one didn't work so well...
Ironically, it wasn't til knowledge of the Kyubi became public, did the other kids stop picking on him... most still didn't like him, but he had grown closer to his friends.
Naruto sighed, getting up and out of bed, stretching his arms. He needed to get ready for another long day of D Rank missions.
After the Borg, most Shinobi missions had less to do with protecting, and more about surviving. Stuff like helping out the farmers and making repairs to the city... and learning all they could about the ship they were in... though that last one was mostly left to the older, more experienced, Shinobi.
When they joined the ponies... who, SOMEHOW, expanded this cargo bay to be an exact replica of the entire Elemental nations' continent, down to the varying weather patterns. It was the most complex of all the pocket dimensions. As the others merely had one, consistent, environment.
Oddly enough, all the Shinobi clans, from all the villages that had been taken, built their new homes in private estates, but kept them in the same village. This giant neighborhood was divided into estates based on clan... As most the civilians had been killed by the Borg... and a good few of the Shinobi as well... in fact, the only Kage to even survive the attack... was Sarutobi. So it was pretty easy for him to Convince the clans from rival villages to help him rebuild.
These past few months, they had the Shinobi helping the other races build homes in their various pocket dimensions. Captain Janeway even had the Jounin rank Shinobi working alongside the ship's "Security Officers". Doing what they were originally trained to do. Saving lives and fighting bad guys... It was a good life.
As these thoughts ran through the spiky haired blonde's head, he finished getting ready for the day. Now, to breakfast with the old man.
Itachi wanted to grown, rub his temple, anything that could alleviate the frustration of... paperwork...
Sasuke was snickering at him.
"I would watch who you're laughing at, little brother." Itachi warned, without looking up from the papers. "This could be your job one day."
Sasuke snorted from his place at the table. "Not likely, hurry up and pump out a kid. Then it will be their problem."
Itachi couldn't resist rolling his eyes, "I'll have you know, as soon as your of age. I could step down and have YOU deal with all this."
Sasuke paled, "You wouldn't."
"Don't tempt me." Itachi warned.
"Must you do that at the breakfast table?" Mother eyed him disapprovingly, as she laid their breakfast on the table. "I don't want you to get into the same bad habits as your father."
Itachi flinched. It been 4 years... and he still hadn't gotten over what his father tried to do. Luckily, the man had been killed during the Borg attack. Itachi had inherited the role of clan leader. Then he instantly squashed all thoughts of taking over the village. Seeing as they had been struggling for survival, on a derelict space ship, it was an easy enough notion to crush. All without alerting the Hokage the great house of Uchiha had been planning to betray their own village...
Itachi actually had the elders of the clan executed for suggesting it, then appointed a new, slightly younger, council. People he could trust, ones that had been actively against turning on the village... and who Father himself had been planning on taking out.
Father really was a bastard. Itachi didn't like being compared to him in any way, and Mother knew it.
The young Head of the Uchiha Clan, put his papers to the side, and began to eat.
"So you and Sakura going on another date?" Itachi, not so innocently, asked. It was his turn to tease.
Sasuke scowl. Then muttered to himself, "I can't stand that bloody fangirl."
Mother smiled at Sasuke, "Speaking of potential girlfriends. I noticed you spending a lot of time with that Applebloom girl." Sasuke froze, and their mother instantly noticed. "I think she's a lovely girl. And that Earth pony magic might be something worth while to add to the Uchiha clan."
Sasuke relaxed some, but sent a worried look at his older brother.
"Some people may be critical of an interspecies relationship," Itachi didn't bother sugar coating it, but neither did he have any desire to be cruel. "However, It's only natural they pop up, given our close quarters... The apples are a worthy clan to affiliate with the Uchiha." he gave his blessing, and Sasuke smiled... so Itachi felt comfortable teasing again, "Should I speak with her family matriarch, and arrange a marriage."
Sasuke's face turned the most delightful shade of crimson.
Mother simply pointed out, "Bit early for that."
Twilight frantically burst into the Observation Room. Janeway was almost used to how easily panicked the young woman became. She was only a minute late.
The Bipedal pony quickly saluted... as she seemed to have forgotten Starfleet didn't do that. "I'm here to give my monthly report, Captain."
Janeway gave a curt nod. "If your ready, we can get started."
Twilight teleported in front of the screen... the girl really wasn't one to waste time. Even the measly seconds walking took up.
Twilight looked around the room at the Senior Staff of the Federation crew. The kind creatures who dragged their tree in a "Tractor Beam" around the sector. Who took time out of their urgent schedule to backtrack the planets they had visited, in order to convince another world, any world, to accept them... and when none had, these creatures had offered to take them in.
This entailed plans to extend the shields, in order to create an environmental bubble of heat and oxygen. While they continued to use the tractor beam to drag the castle back to Earth. This would have slowed their speed, making the trip take over a humanoid's lifespan of a 150 years, but the crew was willing to do it... just because it was kind...
This crew was trapped in the Delta Quadrant, via alien abduction (Which Twilight was shocked to learn actually happens, even to advanced aliens)... they were trying to get home, which was on the other side of the Galaxy... they had been stranded near a year themselves... yet they were willing to never make it back home, in their lifetime, just to help another group of stranded aliens...
Obviously, not every creature could live on the ship... not originally. There were just so many Refugees, about 5 thousand per species, that it be impossible for the Voyager vessel to hold every creature.
After Janeway made the offer... while the first thing that happened was the "Dilithium" castle exploded. While that had been devastating at the time, as the Princesses thought the last of the survivors were lost... but they soon discovered a large surge of magic, which they followed into an empty deck, filled with even emptier cargo bays.
The crew explained these cargo bays were designed to hold survivors from large scale evacuations... and had discovered that when the tree exploded, and Voyager got caught in the blast, that the largest of the bays had the Castle's pocket dimension attached to it. The Pocket Dimension, formerly anchored inside the Castle, was now attached to this cargo bay. Then the other Cargo Bays had other dimensions anchored to them. One for every race of creature, tailor made to their most comfortable environment... all the size of... while the Humans compared the land mass to "Australia"... which was apparently a continent on their planet.
The Map had somehow known about the bay. Though if creatures were going to start questioning how the Cutie Map knew things, it really should have begun a while ago.
It should have been impossible. The castle's pocket dimension was the size of a small town, PER FLOOR. It was already irrational that it fit inside the castle at all!!!... but then it was almost as if the Castle knew they would need saving, and that was the reason it was so large.
Just before their planet was even aware of the danger it faced, the Cutie Map had summoned every creature it could possibly hold, from races all over Equestria... It knew... and it saved as many as it could... enough from every species on the planet, so they could regrow a healthy gene pool... though billions still died... but where was Discord.
Yes, as a higher spirit, it was laughable to assume he would get involved with every conflict on their planet... but... Twilight had grudgingly begun to think of him as a real friend... she knew he cared about them... yet he let their planet die?... why?... just... WHY!?
He could have sent the robot zombies away with just a snap of his fingers... yet he didn't... he let billions die...
Not even Fluttershy could figure it out... and she hadn't seen her friend for moons before the attack...
Twilight sighed. This wasn't important, at least not at the moment. She needed to give her report to the Captain. As the Princess of Friendship, the new Council of races had elected her as the liaison to the crew.
After some negotiations, the Federation President had promised to give the Equines the ship... after the safe return of their citizens. Until then, Janeway was in charge.
Yes they had their own civilization rebuilding within the pocket dimensions... but the ship it was attached to belonged to Janeway. As such all of the Refugees could consider themselves drafted. Which really wasn't a problem. The various races of Equus understood what a large favor Janeway did by accepting them... and not freaking out too badly that the Castle Dimension had attached itself to her ship.
The President even told Janeway that she should considered the entirety of the Refugee Deck as belonging to the races of Equus. The Refugee Deck was now consider Sovereign territory, where the races could grow as they see fit. Still Twilight was expected to give reports on what they were doing.
"The last of the houses have finished Construction," Twilight explained. "Thanks to the trees the Earth ponies have managed to grow. Those red wood seeds, you replicated for us, really came in hoofly. The Earth ponies were able to grow them to full maturity within a week, then treated them for proper building material. As of now, all races have permanently moved out of the Castle.
"The only people actually living their now; are the ambassadors, the guards, and the servants and staff.
"It was decided most floors would be turned into farms, ranches, and wild life preserves (for the magical beast, and Domestic animals, we managed to save). As well as a laboratory set up on another floor, for magical and scientific advancement.
"Oh!" Twilight grinned, "We finally got an education system agreed on, and have finished remodeling 4 floors in the Castle, strictly for education. The children have even begun their first new school year today!!!" She clapped her hands, excitedly.
"We also confirmed our suspicions that the Shinobi's form of magical manipulation. Which they call 'Jutsus', can be taught to any magical being. While they were adamant this style of magic should be taught to young children, we were able to convince them to integrate into our own educational system. Where Children of all species, from 3 to 11 years old, learn all the basic academics. Then they move on to classes separated by species, or clan. To study their racial magics, which the Shinobi refer to as 'Bloodline Traits', until they are 15. At which time, they rejoin all races, in order to study at a university, until they are 25.
"However, they can join an apprenticeship at any time. Including studying Jutsus as an after school activity. This program will now be necessary to join the Guard.
"However, on the Shinobi's insistence, Any student far enough into this program, usually at age 12, will be placed under a Sensei. Who will give more specialized training, based on the student's aptitude and the Guard's own specialization. These students will even be allowed to assist with 'D Rank Missions'. Which are basically chores around the pocket dimensions. As they study for their future field in the Guard.
"Fields such as Tracking, Healing, and all the Positions onboard a star ship." Twilight looked at Janeway. "The Council would like you to teach these, magic school aged, children how to operate the ship, along with the adult guards they are already educating."
Janeway frowned, "Normally, I would speak against training such young children, on how to operate a star ship. However, as your Society is quite literally bound to this ship, it may be prudent to have as many trained officers, as quickly as possible... As Either way, the children are trapped on the ship."
Twilight smiled, "Thank you for understanding our position. And rest assured, we will attempt to keep the children out of any potentially dangerous assignments, such as the away missions."
At Janeway's nod of understanding, The princess moved on. "Next we made our own Social floor, which your crew is more then welcome to use (and some have), on the same floor as the Library. We have a few movie theaters set up in those rooms, a bowling alley, an arcade, a small water park, and several other areas for recreation and socializing.
"The Minotaurs and Griffins wanted a... a 'Red Light District', but it was thought best to cover that into an entire floor, instead of having it somewhere that children could get to. We have an age line to prevent children from stepping off the stairs, into this floor." Her cheeks were pink, and she attempted to slide right passed it... unfortunately Second in command Tuvok was curious.
"What exactly is a 'red light district'?" He asked, "And why would it need be inaccessible to children?"
Twilight blushed, thankfully Janeway spared the girl, "It's a place were people can experience their vices in a safe environment, away from tainting innocent eyes. Where they partake in gambling, drinking, sometimes drug use... and prostitution."
Tuvok raised an eyebrow. Then turned to Twilight, "I can see why you would want to keep this out of reach of children."
"IT WASN'T MY IDEA!!!" Her voice hit an impossible octave.
"Lieutenant Paris," Tuvok turned to the primary pilot, "Perhaps this place would interest you."
Tom Paris flashed an unrepentant smile, "I'm sure I'm not the only one, but just too be clear." He looked at Twilight, then asked, possibly just to mess with her, "The Prostitutes are real right, not holo characters?"
Twilight's face turned bright red, "Well, they aren't really prostitutes. We have a few gentle mare's clubs. Where willing adults are paid to flirt and act as a form of emotional support. They are trained, and licensed, 'Companions' that do a lot more then just have sex for money.
"But they still have sex, right?" Paris grinned.
Janeway choked back a laugh, "That's enough Tom, stop teasing the girl."
"T-teasing?" Twilight blinked, then glared at Tom, "Honestly!!!"
Tom just laughed, "Is it my fault your so easy to windup?"
"Did you do anything else to the castle we need to know about?" Janeway asked, already knowing the answer.
"Well," Twilight sighed, as she gathered her thoughts. Poor girl was still a tad flustered. "... yes," she said, after a moment, and thankfully the rest of the Senior staff let her calm down, sensing they might have been pushing her too far. "A few things. We converted many of the Floors into 'Market Districts'. Just regular old markets, where ponies can start trading goods with each other again. We realize the Federation doesn't have a traditional economy, so our merchants would be willing to accept Replicator Rations for their goods."
"Why have money at all?" asked Chief engineer Torres. The woman had a bit of a temper, which she was struggling to control during Tom's lewd jokes. Her Klingon heritage was a nightmare to handle... but she tried her best not to scare the easily frightened ponies. The other races they had taken onboard weren't so easily intimidated, but the ponies were a jumpy lot.
Twilight sighed, "We grew up with using money to motivate our citizens. Every creature simply acting for the benefit of survival... as left a sour taste in our mouths. We want normality. So an economy where individuals are rewarded for their hard work, beyond just acknowledgement of a good job..." she tried to gather her thoughts, "It's something tangible. We are tired of working for the sake of living, with no goals beyond surviving to the next day.
"We created a digital based economy. Meaning we can pay people an unlimited amount of credits, for working, while also making it so all necessities are free. Every creature now carries a credit chip, which doubles as an ID, down to their profession and position, and has any licenses they may possess.
"They also keep track of their food allowance and their toiletry allowance, two separate things. However, in addition to that, they can buy extra food or any other luxuries they might want, with currency. Our economics operate as a more compassionate version of capitalism. Where any creature can aspire to new heights, but are guaranteed the necessities, even if they fail. Hopefully, future generations will agree our system is a less extreme version.
"Our team of enchanters have also finished upgrading the shields, and the density of the ship's hall. Through simulations on your Holodecks, we speculate the Ship could now survive a close range supernova. This means, the weapons of other ships, are all but worthless against us. Unfortunately, as I warned you earlier, the ship is now more vulnerable to boarding parties, as all resources were spent insuring the ship cannot be destroyed... It's more likely creatures can 'Beam' in with this upgrade. Luckily, few have that ability in this Quadrant of space.
"Also, as suspected, the force fields around the windows and the shuttle entrance, are better at keeping in the atmosphere, but it is more likely matter will pass through it. Just tripping won't do it, but with enough force, anyone can fall over board. I highly suggest creating a barrier of enchanted, unbreakable, glass, to go over the force fields of the windows. Then stationing more guards around the Shuttle bay. As anything from meteors to intruding ships can easily break in.
"While these upgrades make us more sustainable to onboard attacks, they also insure the ship will survive, no matter what. Hell, simulations suggest we could survive traveling through a black hole... with the shields up at least.
"We have also succeeded in building our own type of Faster then light engine. Combining Federation technology, with our understanding of magical flight, this engine can lower the mass of the entire ship to that of a single light particle. Then move as a wave, through warp, to travel at approximately 167.94% more efficiently then traditional warp... With this we can go faster then warp 10, without approaching the nightmare that is transwarp. Thanks to the magicals Upgrades, the ship can easily withstand this speed at a consistent space."
"How quickly can you have it installed?" asked Harry.
He was a young Ensign that somehow found himself on the Senior staff. Though it was hardly a fluke. The boy showed a real talent for "Thinking outside the box", that he was trusted with a position on the Senior staff, despite his rank. And now that they had so many new aliens studying starfleet protocols. The Boy might very well get promoted, once the new officers completed their training.
"We'll need to find somewhere safe to park, remove the current warp engine, and install the new Magical Engine... it should take about 3, Federation Standard, weeks."
The Staff nodded. While Janeway said, "We'll begin looking for a peaceful port immediately. Though, staying still for so long could attract the Borg."
"Our concealment spells should keep us hidden from their sensors," Twilight assured. They talked about it for a little while longer, until Twilight was allowed to move on with her report.
"In addition, we made a brave new discovery about the Pocket dimensions themselves. When the castle exploded, it, didn't actually create any pocket dimensions. These dimensions were already in existence, at the surface of sub-space. The explosion of magic, merely allowed the Tree of Harmony to link the dimensions to existing points in our universe. She obviously planned this, as the environments were clearly carefully chosen, for each species."
Tuvok looked intrigued again, "How did you determine this?"
"We found Fossils!" Twilight hopped in place, giddy as a school girl. "Millions of years old, in fact. These dimensions have clearly been around awhile. This shows that the animals that inhabit these dimensions, properly evolved there, and didn't just... SPRING INTO BEING. Even the tree has limits, as she clearly had to anchor preexisting dimensions, as opposed to just creating continent sized ones."
"Isn't it possible," Tuvok probed, "These, pocket dimensions, have other intelligent life within them?"
"That's extremely unlikely," Twilight dismissed. "Firstly, while we have found fossils, there is no proof of anything resembling intelligent life. No tools or ruins. Second, we have had our best Pegasi teams flying around, mapping the continents, and nothing. Third, I highly doubt the tree would give us land just to turn us into accidental conquerors."
Tuvok raised an eyebrow, "You put a lot of confidence in this... tree..."
"Well... The Tree of Harmony is a self aware pocket dimension. It had been trying to communicate with our world for centuries. Initial contact was made by Star Swirl, and given a presence in our Dimension in the form of a Crystal tree. As the tree watched us, it tried to get more and more sustenance in our dimension. Which it's connection to myself, and my friends, unknowingly provided. When we proved ourselves to the tree, it was able to grab a firm hold in our dimension. Creating the castle as it's doorway.
"Can you comprehend such an intelligent entity? A living dimension, that has been protecting and shaping our planet for over a millennium? To the point it saved all it could during the Borg attack? For whatever reason, this entity has chosen to help us, to the point it anchored itself to this ship. It obviously took a great deal of magic to transfer the link, and it clearly can't just open up wherever it wants. It has limits, we are finally starting to learn what they are. It's even possible that the other dimensions it grabbed are also self aware. Maybe even it's friends or family. Then again, they could just be ordinary pocket dimensions. We need to run test for cosmic brainwaves. We are even developing a way to SPEAK with the Tree!!!"
The Captain looked worried at that. Having a dimension anchored to her ship was mind boggling enough... but the fact it was also a self aware entity. One that appeared to have heightened awareness of their own dimension... she would have to report this to the president.
"Why didn't you tell us sooner that the dimension was ALIVE?" Paris showed his usual level of tact.
Twilight stared at him, confused...
"She did," Janeway sighed. "All the Equusians have been talking about the dimension as if a beloved friend. We merely assumed this was more a sentimental attachment... we should stop making any assumptions about magic. We simply don't have the level of comprehension needed to do anything of the sort." Then the Captain looked at Twilight, "And you need to do the same. You're explaining concepts we have no basis for. Don't assume we know what you mean about ANYTHING. This level of miscommunication cannot be allowed to happen again."
Twilight straightened, "Yes Captain! It won't happen again!"
Janeway got the impression the girl would now recite everything as if reading from a children's text book... joy...
Kabuto sat in his room, listening to the whispers of Orochimaru in his head. Those loyal to the sound Villages had been given their own estate, and the full rights of a clan... that is, after Orochimaru was sealed and his host made the head of the clan (by the clan).
Kabuto wasn't expected to survive the sealing. People over a certain age couldn't withstand having a demon in their belly. Their bodies would quickly deteriorate and they would die. However, the snake demon, Orochimaru, had accepted it's host for "Unknown reasons"... but Kabuto knew.
Orochimaru didn't want to die. Orochimaru might be a snake in appearance, but he was a leech by nature. He couldn't survive without a host... and at least this way he had a host that wouldn't deteriorate. A host that was loyal to him.
Orochimaru might not have direct control, but Kabuto still listened to his orders... and was biding his time.
"My Lord?" the pale face of Kimimaro stepped into the room.
The ponies had done what not even Orochimaru could do... what not even the healing or Necromancy Jutsus of Kabuto could do... they cured Kimimaro of his bloodline sickness. It was basically a type of cancer that manifest through the genetic powers some clans are born with... and the ponies cured him... Obviously, he was conflicted with Orochimaru's plan.
The ponies appeared to have Bloodline traits, related to their species instead of family clan. Yet they could stil learn Jutsus. Some of the other species had similar "Magics" as they called it. But the Ponies were of particular note... especially the Unicorns, who's bloodline trait allowed them to bend reality to their will.
Kimimaro looked grim, "Our Spies inform us that the crew will be turning off the warp engine and installing the Magic based Engine... We will be parked in a nearby nebula for 3 weeks."
Kabuto smiled, but it wasn't his usual condescending grin... this smile was more... predatory. "Then this may be our chance to take control of the ship." He really didn't know why the aliens wanted to help these lifeforms "get back home". Or even why they were letting them call all the shots. Hell, even that worthless Hokage was in agreement on that... But not Kabuto, not the Sound 'Clan'. In the past few months since they joined, they had learned everything they need knowing about operating the ship. Now the Terrrans, with their small eyes and bland hair colors, were just going over the thousands of protocols this 'Federation' had...
But the Sound clan had gathered allies. There were several disgruntled individuals, amongst each species and even the Shinobi clans. They all believed, as Kabuto did, that they shouldn't waste time getting these aliens back home.
They should be using all their resources, into fighting the Borg. Then, once every last Borg was exterminated, they could focus on joining the political squabbles of the other planets. Acting as more Nomadic warriors for hire.
They didn't need the Federation. They didn't even need a planet of their own... not with their current resources
Kabuto suddenly frowned, as he heard a whisper no other could hear. "While this was certainly a golden opportunity to attack the Federation Crew," hissed the voice. "We haven't built up enough allies amongst the other races. The guards would certainly try to stop what meager forces we have."
"This is one golden opportunity... we must let pass us by," Kabuto didn't comment on Kimimaro's relieved expression, "Orochimaru believes we need the other races on our side, before we make our move."
"God is wise," Kimimaro stated.
Kabuto did his best not to snort. Orochimaru may have stepped beyond human limitations, but he wasn't a god. Hell he was probably the exact opposite of a god. He was a demon, though born a Shinobi.
"We must bide our time." Kabuto translated the hissing voice he heard. "Even with the Magical Engine, it will still take us over 20 years to get to the Alpha Quadrant. We have time to spare. Once we are ready. These Federation simpletons will die... and if we follow Orochimaru's plan, it will be with the Ponies blessing."
The loss of so many family members was hard to recover from... but her favorite children had survived. They had all been summoned to the Cutie Map... and were shocked to learn the tree had chosen to save them... Changelings were despised, hunted, and outright massacred by the other races.
They appeared to others as terrifying beast. The fact they weren't bipedal, in their natural state, didn't help that. They were one of a few races that walked on 4 legs, and had no arms or hands... they looked like beast and so were mistaken for monsters.
That is why they had chosen to live in secret... even now.
They had begun to build a new hive, this one underground, in one of the unsettled pocket dimensions... There were 42 large cargo bays on this deck... most of them not claimed by any race... including their's. Chrysalis didn't actually have any legal claim to land. She just had changelings wander around in Giant monstrous forms, to make the dimension look too dangerous to try to settle... which resulted in the ponies thinking the tree chose this dimension to be a sanctuary for the more dangerous magical beast. Moving them in here, from the castle, while keeping the more docile ones inside the primary dimension...
This actually proved to work out for the best. As now ponies came into the lands frequently, tending to the dangerous animals. Giving them love and affection, along with three square meals a day. The food might be meaningless to changelings, but the love that came with it was greatly appreciated by the infiltrators.
They used it to make their "Love Honey", a pink jelly like substance, which changelings excrete from their mouths. It went to feeding the entire hive.
"My Queen." A Warrior changeling bowed before her. Though he had a similar build to drones, his magic made him much more powerful (both physically and magically). Not as strong as herself... but powerful in his own right. The only true way you could tell he was a Warrior, was the fact he was more colorful then a drone, though in darker colors then a pony.
"Yes, Snuggle Bug?" Chrysalis raised an eyebrow.
The changeling groaned at the least intimidating name ever given to a warrior, but Chrysalis stood by her decision. He was just the cutest thing as a grub, always snuggling up to his brood mates.
Snuggle Bug shook his head, "Thorax was seen trying to sneak out of the dimension again."
Chrysalis sighed, her most rebellious child, despite his meek nature.
"He wasn't even transformed this time."
Chrysalis jerked back, as if struck. Then she immediately jumped out of her throne. "WHAT!?!" She raged, "sneaking out is one thing, but was He trying to expose our whole society!!! That foolish grub! The ponies would have killed him on sight and raided the entire dimension for more of us!!!"
Snuggle Bug shrunk back, "The news gets worse... Pharynx was attempting to cover for him."
Chrysalis groaned, "He always had a soft spot for his runt of a broodmate... but this..."
"I don't believe he knew what his brother planned. He was just covering for him, when he realized Thorax wasn't with the other drones, doing their duty in building more tunnels and chambers." as the drones had been doing for months.
Chrysalis sighed, somewhat relieved that there wasn't a conspiracy with the Captain of her patrol. He was just trying to keep his brother from a reprimand, due to perceived laziness... though she had to wonder how often he did that...
"Bring me the grub." Chrysalis ordered.
Snuggle Bug blushed, "Errr, which one?" Chrysalis tended to refer to everyling as "Grub", no matter how old they got.
Chrysalis rolled her eyes, "Bring me Thorax. I can deal with my wayward Captain afterwards."
Thorax was brought into the throne room, looking every bit the runt of a brood. He was so very small, and staring at the holes in his legs as they nervously fidgeted. The 12 year old looked exactly like a larva that had stolen extra love honey. As if he didn't understand this crime was far more serious.
Changelings started working as soon as they left the Larva phase. They couldn't afford not to, as the Hive was always in danger of discovery. So they needed everling to do their part...
Thorax was always hard to keep to a specific task, as he wanted to help the think tank... and didn't like the role of "Tunnel Digger" he had been assigned at birth. His runt status honestly made him good at either job, but Chrysalis wasn't going to reward bad behavior by reassigning the grub.
Meanwhile, Thorax's brother, "Pharynx", was a model ling. Accelerating quickly in his clutch. He was even promoted to "Captain". While far from the highest rank, he was in charge of directing his platoon. As well as helping the other Captains, of the Patrol Clutch, make plans and organize themselves...
Pharynx... would be crushed when he heard what Chrysalis planned to do to Thorax.
Chrysalis didn't say anything for several long minutes, just staring at the grub as she attempted to remain calm.
"Queen Mama?..." Thorax tried.
"Don't!" Chrysalis snapped, "Don't you dare think of sweet talking your way out of this. Disagreeing with me is one thing, but actively endangering the hive!"
"I don't believe I was endangering it." Thorax tried to explain.
"That's not for you to decide!" Chrysalis banged her hoof against her throne. "If you will not respect my word as Queen, then the least you could do is listen to me as your mother!!! The other races are DANGEROUS!!! They have been slaughtering us for centuries. Do you think I drove us into hiding for FUN!!!"
"But that was so long ago," Thorax was still arguing!!!! "And things have changed. There is a level of cooperation between the species that has never-"
"Do you know why they slaughtered my first brood?" Chrysalis interrupted.
Thorax flinched, "Cus we look scary..." he admitted.
"Cuz we look SCARY!!! We never raised a hoof against them! We were never a threat to them. They merely saw us, screamed 'Monster' and killed us on sight!"
"Things are different now Mama!" Thorax tried to stress.
"You want to live amongst them so badly!" Chrysalis raged, "I will grant your request."
"Really?" Thorax blinked.
Chrysalis glared, "For the crime of endangering the hive, you are hereby banished."
Thorax mouth dropped, "That's not what I want!"
The guards around them tensed.
Chrysalis glared, "Throw him out into the Refugee deck, and erase his memory of our location."
The guards gulped. "M-my Queen?" as if begging her not to have him do it.
Chrysalis sighed at them, "We must protect the safety of the hive. We can risk no ling to endanger it. Now, get him out of here."
The Guards started dragging the grub away... all the while he gave screams of "Please!!!" and "I'm sorry"... and one of "Queen Mama!!!"
It broke her heart to watch them drag the grub away. Yet she forced herself not to turn away. This was her decision. Not as a mother, but as Queen of a nation... to protect all under her rule... she would have to live with this pain. So she refused to look away at her son's tear stained face.
Once the boy was gone, Chrysalis turned to a nearby hoof maiden ."Tell Pharynx," Chrysalis told the drone. "That he may leave with his brother. He may come and go as he wishes... but Thorax is not to return to the Hive."
Spike was walking down the hall when he caught sight of some kind of small animal stumbling through the hall. The beast must have wandered out of one of the animal sanctuaries. It took Spike a moment to register that that was a Changeling. About as big as himself... which wasn't very big at all...
Spike should have ran, should have screamed... but the critter looked so... sad... with massive streams of tears dripping down his face... dripping onto the floor...
"You... you okay?" Spike didn't know why he asked, it wasn't like Changelings could talk.
The little guy jumped, with strangely Sapient sounding, "Gah!" Before looking at Spike.
The changeling looked at him a moment then, sniffled "no... I'm not..."
Spike's eyes grew wide, as he registered the monster... wasn't actually a monster... then... he registered what the creature said.
Spike walked over to the other boy, at least he assumed it was a child based on how small he was, and hugged him. The critter tensed.... but after a moment... he hugged him back... this simple hug, proving everything Thorax ever said. They could live in peace. They didn't have to hide... why couldn't Queen Mama see it...
He cried harder as he thought of her.
Pharynx immediately stormed out of the hive, the moment he was told what happened to Thorax. He shifted into a bug bear, and flew as fast as he could. Once he was on the Voyager ship, he turned into a fly, and tried to sneak about, looking for his foalish brother.
The least Chrysalis could have done was have Pharynx escort Thorax out, himself. His most treasured broodmate might very well be dead already. Especially if he went through with his plan to expose their real form to the other races.
When Pharynx finally spotted Thorax... The young Captain immediately shifted back into a bugbear, and let out a ferocious roar. Thorax was already under attack! Neither seemed to notice Pharynx had changed, luckily.
Pharynx immediately swiped his claw at the dragon... only for Thorax to push it out of the way and stand over it. His horn glowing... but was pointed at Pharynx... or what Thorax might not know was Pharynx... guess it wasn't so lucky Thorax didn't see...
Queen Mama must have went all out with the banishment, and fully severed Thorax's link to the hive... so Thorax not only couldn't hear his thoughts... but couldn't sense him... that would explain why it took so long to find the runt.
Before this could get out of hand... Pharynx changed back.
Thorax's horn immediately stopped glowing, "Pharynx!" the grub immediately jumped at the tall Warrior bug. Obviously hoping to get a hug. Instead, the elder broodmate whacked the runt upside his head.
"Banished Thorax!" Pharynx raged, "With all the stupid things you've done, it looks like you finally pushed the hive too far."
Thorax lowered his head.
Pharynx scoffed at the 'Kicked puppy' look his brother was sporting, "Come along, we need to find a place to hide, but first-" his horn started glowing, as he walked towards the dragon.
Thorax immediately jumped in front of him, "What are you doing!?"
"I'm just going to erase it's memory."
Pharynx glared, "He's seen you! Seen both of us!!!"
"He was helping me!!!" Thorax insisted. "Besides, I'll need contacts, out here, if I'm to adjust!!!"
"CONTACTS!!!" Pharynx yelped, "You can't trust these things Thorax!!! They will squish you like a defenseless grub!!!"
"You guys are scared of us?" Spike blinked.
Pharynx glared. "You SLAUGHTER US BY THE THOUSANDS!!!"
Spike flinched. Then stood tall, "We didn't even know you were real until you attacked us! Even afterwards. We didn't know changelings weren't anything more then mindless monsters, controlled by Chrysalis. You've never tried talking to us before!"
Pharynx bared his teeth and hissed.
Spike took a step back, but then forced himself to be brave, "I promise I'm not going to hurt you. Not unless you try to hurt me."
Thorax gently laid a hoof on his older brother's shoulder, "Please Pharynx..."
The older changeling (by a few seconds but that did make a huge difference to grubs) sighed. He suddenly burst into green light, and reappeared as a purple and red dragon. Thorax followed his led and transformed as well... not really willing to push Pharynx any further, by trying to present himself to all the creatures as a ling... they might not react as well as Spike... and one friend was enough... for now...
"Errr, it might be better if you guys hide as Ponies."
Dragon Pharynx sneered, but did as was suggested. turning into a purple unicorn with a red mane. Thorax turned into a light blue foal, a black mane with blue highlights.
"Cool..." Spike shifted uncomfortably. "errr now... let me find you a place to live. There are a few thousand ponies, so no one will notice if a few new ones appear. Everypony has been busy all week, picking their houses, so no creature will suspect a thing.
Thorax smiled, while Pharynx raised an eyebrow... the little dragon was actually directing them with the best way to hide.
● With Twilight.
"You want to teach all children the Shadow Clone Jutsu?" Sarutobi blinked at the 'Friendship Ambassador'. As she asked for some instructors, in that Jutsu, for the school.
Twilight pranced in place. She was filled with a surprising eagerness to get started, "I have been talking to some of your creatures about what that spell does. And While a physical clone, controlled by your own subconscious, is extremely useful, it's ability for all knowledge it gathers to be absorbed by the original!!! That is just too perfect!!! The clones are even more focused, and retain information better then the original. They even have greater comprehension!!! This makes it an Excellent teaching aid.
"Even if the kids only have enough power to make a single clone, at first, that's still double their current rate of learning. We could greatly accelerate the time taught teaching. As they get older, they will naturally get better at the spell, just by using it every day. So they can make more and more clones!!! Which means faster and faster learning!!!" She bounced. "This will revolutionize schooling!!!"
Sarutobi thought on that... the reason the Shadow Clone Jutsu wasn't already used for such a reason... was more politics... that no longer existed. Back when the Shinobi were made up of seperate villages, The Jutsu was considered a restricted technique, to Konoha. As a result, civilians couldn't be taught it. Then, despite how easy it was, the academy students couldn't be taught it either, as a result of them not being considered trustworthy enough to handle a village Jutsu until they were at least Genin...
Reducing the Jutsu to a teaching aid, for everyone, would greatly limit it's usefulness in a fight... but the Shinobi couldn't rely solely on their combat prowess... this might also give them a chance to endear themselves to the other races.
"Very well," The Hokage nodded.
Twilight whinnied excitedly, then quickly covered her mouth. She now had a mortified expression on her face. "Pardon my language," She begged. "This is just, so thrilling!"
There was a sudden knock at the door. Then a little scaly head poked into the room. "Mom?" Spike asked then blushed, seeing the Hokage, "S-sorry to interrupt, but can I borrow the List of houses still available?"
Twilight smirked, "Bit young to be moving out."
"N-no, not for me." Spike blushed, "I ran into a couple orphans and they told me they don't have a place to live yet. I was going to show them a few places. They also need Data chips and a food allowance."
Twilight sighed. "We do just keep finding more and more orphans, scattered about the dimensions..." the reminder of that putting a damper on her good mood. "I recently set up more permanent orphanages, for each of the dimensions. So all underage creatures can be cared for. Just let me finish up here and I'll walk your new friends over."
Spike looked behind the door, out into the hall. There was some hushed talking, before Spike nodded, "They're cool with that. Will the Orphanage help them set up their Data Chips?"
Twilight smiled, "Of course, now go play in your room. I'll come get you lot soon."
● a few hours later.
Thorax looked at the plastic card, his Data Chip... holding all fake knowledge about his life that Pharynx provided. Pharynx had taken the form of a teenager, just a few years older then Thorax... and the matrons even let them have an apartment all to themselves...
The orphanage was more like a huge apartment complex, then what their used to be in pony culture... probably because the sheer amount of orphans being found. The adults would just wander the compound, and occasionally check on the kids... Thorax could taste the love around this place. The love adults have for children they care for.
This was the reason Pharynx allowed them to be moved here. Such areas were easy to survive in.
None of the apartments had locks on the doors... nor did they have kitchens. The kids were expected to eat together in a large, free, diner on the property. Not that changelings needed to eat, but it couldn't hurt either.
"So..." Spike shifted uncomfortably. "Will you guys be okay?"
Pharynx still eyed the dragon warily. The boy had helped them find the perfect way to hide... but that doesn't mean he couldn't turn on them later... regardless, the dragon child had earned a little trust.
"The matron helped me sign up for an Apprenticeship, learning how to operate the ship. If I gain enough Intel, I might be able to buy forgiveness for Thorax to rejoin the hive..." Pharynx hesitated to say the next bit. "This went much better then I thought our first day out here would go. Even my best case scenario, wasn't nearly as well off as this... thank you." it hurt to say that last bit, but Spike was too valuable a contact to lose.
Thorax smiled, giving Spike another hug, "See you at school."
Spike smiled, "You bet, I pulled some strings, so we get to be in the same class."
"You're having a school reform already?" Janeway stared at the young, purple, princess. Though she hoped this would somehow lead to a better reason why Twilight had requested an emergency meeting with the Captain. "Didn't your government just agree to the academics, a week ago?"
Twilight blushed, "That was before the discovery of a spell the Shinobi have access to. It allows for the children to create duplicate bodies of themselves, made purely out of physical energy, and capable of transferring all knowledge they acquire, when reabsorbed."
Then Twilight got into explaining everything in great detail... and not aware the Captain wasn't in the mood for such ramblings. She had a ship to run, after all, but regardless, she listened to the girl talk about the mechanics. As it had been herself, that requested the girl be more thorough, during the last formal meeting they had.
"Like most constructs, they are controlled by the subconscious, and so technically just an extension of the caster. However, in this case, these specific constructs not only transfere all information they gather, back to the original, but allow the original to retain and even comprehend it, more efficiently then if the original learned it, directly. Normally, the caster maintains no knowledge of what their construct got up to.
The young Anthro let out a sigh, "I didn't realize how effective it would be as a teaching aid. And it is a remarkably easy spell to use. Children as young as 6 are capable of manifesting at least 1 duplicate. Without any prior training.
"Meanwhile, any studen with a stabilized core (typically that happens at 11), can manifest at least 10! Due to this, the older children have been playing hookie, while all their clones go to school. AND THEY ARE STILL TOPPING THE CHARTS!!! Even our Slowest learners have managed to complete months of lessons, in a single week. The teachers are actually having a hard time keeping up with their advancement! By our projections, they will have gained the knowledge of several doctorates, IN A YEAR!!!"
The girl took a breath, "The current education system is too flawed, with the introduction of this spell. So it was decided, all secondary level students, and above, will have their clones study for a year.
"While their originals learn from a Sensei. Who is not legally allowed to have more then 3 apprentices, at a time. They will continue to work under this mare, until they are legally adults (at 30). That's long after they graduated school, which is predicted to be 12. Though their parents, and even their Sensei, will always have rights over them.
"The Younger kids will keep their current schooling level, and we will wait to teach them the spell until their core is stabilized. Followed by a single year of secondary school, then learning from a Sensei, then introduction into the working world. This is intended to become our norm.
"We even had to rewrite when the foals will start gaining legal privileges, to reflect their education level."
"In a way, this is a good thing, as the children will be able to help us rebuild our society, much sooner then we expected... unfortunately... this means we will be having children, in the working world, far sooner then any parent wants. For rebuilding our society, it's very helpful, but what happens after we stabilize? Are we supposed to just get used to the idea that we run thanks to child labor? Is bad enough we are training 2 thirds of the older children as guards! Even if they aren't allowed in combat, we shouldn't be training CHILDREN to kill so easily!"
So that's why the girl asked to speak with her. Twilight was having a moral crisis about how her society was developing.
"My deepest apologies, Twily," Janeway sighed. The girl's nickname slipping out. "But, while I share your disgust, there is nothing I can do. The Federation has strict laws against trying to change other cultures, to fit our norms."
"But that's what your already DOING!!!" Twilight screamed, before covering her hands over her muzzle.
"I beg your pardon." Janeway raised her famous 'come again' eyebrow.
Twilight sighed, "The very reason the council decided to go through with this plan, is because you were in favor of us adding children to guard positions."
"I never said that!" Janeway narrowed her eyes. "I agreed you should train them on how to operate the ship."
"That's the same thing." Twilight buried her head into her hands, "The Guard was split up into multiple divisions, and put in charge of maintaining the ship. With the Federation's okay to train children for such positions, the council decided, 'in for a bit in for a bar'...
"As the Shinobi clans already having a system for child labor, and even child soldiers, we have been relying heavily on them, to help us set up new laws and regulations, more in line with humanoid thinking."
Janeway paled, "Humanoid thinking? You believe that Starfleet is in favor of this... and are seeking to emulate us?"
"I know you have children on many of your boats."
"BUT NOT AS SOLDIERS!!!" Janeway couldn't help but raise her voice. Then, as Twilight gaped at her, the Captain managed to take a calming breath. "I believe we have experienced another incident of Miscommunication... one of a truly grave nature."
"Even if you disagree..." Twilight sighed, "It doesn't matter. Your own Federation President signed off on our idea of School Reform... they said, since most of our population is made up of orphaned children, that we are going to have to rely heavily on them... to rebuild our society... while fully ignoring the consequences to our society, in the long term... I realize most foals start working at 15, and 12 isn't THAT much of a difference... but I worry where this will lead... our children shouldn't be consumed by a life of duty, over their own foalhood. The Shinobi insist they have ways to instill both... but they are also a largely military oriented society. Their very style of magic, is vastly focused on combat... is that what will become of us all?"
"Captain on the bridge!" called out Harry Kim.
The crew spared her a glance, but remained doing what they were doing, as they were trained to.
"ETA on that nebula." Janeway asked. It had taken them a few days to find something to suit their needs. Then a few more days to get to it. This Nebula wouldn't interfere with taking the main engine offline, while still protecting them from Borg scanners.
"3 hours Captain." Harry informed.
Janeway nodded... She had a lot to think about, and not nearly enough time.
Sasuke smiled as he lay on the blanket, looking up at the night sky of New Equestria. Applebloom was busy getting the picnic stuff ready for their friends... until she wasn't.
"OW!!!" Sasuke yelped, as AB wacked his leg.
"Don't think you can just laze about well Ah do all da work," AB glared.
Sasuke blinked, not really used to the idea of girls not willing to do everything for him. He was, after all, a very pretty, and smart, boy. Girls were always trying to impress him... but not Applebloom. She treated him like a person... it... it was annoying as hell.
Sasuke grumbled about bossy girlfriends, as he got to work laying out the food and plates... it was surprising it all fit into her picnic basket. Though given where they were currently seated, it really shouldn't be. Shinobi were capable of sealing things into scrolls, but they didn't have near the understanding of interdimensional physics as ponies.
"I told my family about you." Sasuke hesitantly glanced at her, as he worked.
AB stiffened, "Ah ain't realize we were that close yet." Wow, she was tactless.
Sasuke smiled at her, kinda liking the fact she was as blunt as a hammer. "My mom noticed how much we have been hanging out, and gave her blessing. So did my brother... Do... do you think your family-"
Applebloom sighed, "Sasuke, it's complicated. My family has a long line of Earth Ponies. There's been nothing in my family, but Earth Ponies, since before Equestria, the original Equestria, had been founded. That was a civilization stretching back, over, 6 thousand years... Grannie up and had a right fit, when my big sis told her she was in love with Rainbow Dash... and RD is at least another Pony... My family wouldn't understand..."
Sasuke hung his head, "Oh..." he really wasn't used to this either. The Uchiha clan was the pride of his civilization. All other clans longed to join them, especially through marriage... he wasn't used to being the lesser house... Applebloom dating him really would be worse then an Uchiha leaving the clan to marry into a civilian family... it would be a huge scandal.
"Let's just wait for Braeburn to tell Grannie he's gay, and THEN we can tell her 'bout ya."
Sasuke blinked, "You're actually planning to tell your family about me? You're just waiting for something more scandalous to happen?"
"I know that sounds bad-" AB tried to defend.
Sasuke found himself kissing her... it was a weird sensation. Given she had a muzzle, however short. He could feel her fur tickling his face. However odd it felt, it also made him tingle all over.
Applebloom seemed to melt at the sensation of his smooth skin against her fur.
"Get a room!"
The two instantly broke apart, as Scootaloo made gagging sounds at them. They hadn't even noticed her scooter pull up. She was dragging behind her, a large red Wagon, with a few other children in it.
"Well I think it's romantic," Sweetie Belle grinned, from her place in the wagon. "Two star eyed lovers, of different species, meeting in secret. It's something out of a fairy tale."
Applebloom blinked, looking at Sasuke... then back at Sweetie.
Spike crawled out of the wagon, with a new boy accompanying him. "Like that old story about the dragon and Princess, and the evil knight that wants to keep them apart."
The fillies blinked at him. "You realize the dragon is the bad guy and that, and the knight is trying to save the kidnapped princess."
The baby dragon gaped, "WHAT!? No he's not! Twilight told me that story, every night, since I hatched!"
Scoot giggled, "Best not tell Applejack. She would have a right fit if she knew Twilight's been lying to her son for years."
"She didn't lie!!!" Spike glared. "That's how the story goes!!!"
Applebloom opened her mouth to say something, before the new boy spoke up.
"Actually, both are accurate." he explained. "The Princess and the Dragon is an ancient story. Been around since before Equestria was founded. But after trade began with the dragons, they took offense at all the species-ist literature ponies had. And wrote their own adaptations of the classics... though they never really got all that popular outside dragon culture.
"Real shame to, cuz their adaptation of 'The Princess and the Dragon' had a new moral about inter species cooperation, and how dangerous bigotry was. By The All-Mother, that story was credited for why Dragon Lord Torch had such an 'anti violence' policy against ponies. Cuz he grew up with it as a child. And dreamed of a day Dragons really would be that open to ponies. Which was realized when his Daughter, Princess Ember, ascended to dragon Lord, and opened diplomatic talks with the ponies. Arguably, that simple fairytale is the very reason Dragons didn't go to war with ponies, a long time ago."
The boy finished his rant, and the other kids just proceeded to stare at him. After a moment, the colt blushed.
"I like History," especially history involving interspecies cooperation.
Spike smiled, putting an arm around the colt, "Guys, say hey to Thorax. He likes history."
Thorax just blushed, and was very thankful the other children decided to slide past that, and start their picnic.
"Sooooooooo, that's what let you survive the sealing?" Minuette studied the small seal on the teen's neck.
Kabuto kept up his pleasant grin, as the pony poked and prodded his bare torso. Though he had doubts the "Time Ponies" understanding of seals, and interdimensional physics, could really be so far ahead of the Shinobi.
The boy was currently sitting on a table. Not even a cold metal slab, but rather a nicely padded, Doctor's office, table. As if he was a mere child, getting a check up.
Granted, the ponies had superior knowledge, in regards to the application of chakra and "extension charms", but Shinobi's knowledge of seals and combat based Jutsus had vastly dwarfed anything the ponies had. The other races were almost a joke, in their understanding of any form of Chakra manipulation. It was unlikely a "Sub" species of pony would have developed a greater understanding then any of them.
"I see." The blue Time Mare tilted her head, squinting her eyes, as her horn glowed. A telltale sign she was accessing her Chakra.... and a tactical disadvantage. It would be impossible for ponies to sneak up on anyone (or rather "any creature", as the ponies say), while using their magic.
She gently touched the seal on his neck. "This seal enhances your powers, while allowing the leech demon to inhabit your body. Typically, being a leech demon, that would result in your form slowly decaying. Even with the seal. However, the additional seal added," She looked at Kabuto's exposed stomach. "Which was designed specifically to contain a demon.
"Normally this seal, on your tummy, would need to be placed on an extremely young host, or it would have killed both of you. However, it works in connection with the seal on your neck."
She looked at Kabuto, "The demon didn't 'let you live' due to you being a 'worthy host'. It was a complete fluke of the magic generated by these two seals, interacting in an unexpected way.
"I imagine, given how much this demon means to your clan, I should design a more efficent seal. One specifically designed to contain the demon in a viable host, for as long as they would naturally live... Would that be acceptable?"
Kabuto kept up his smile, though he doubted the creature could accomplish that... or was doing any more then talking out of her ass. "That won't be-"
"Not you," she shook her head, "I'm talking to your master. A side effect of these two seals, is that they wouldn't fully contain the demon. He has a lot more control of you, then you like to admit in public. Given how your clan views the demon as a god, I'll be sure to maintain equal control between host and magical construct."
Kabuto's eyes turned yellow. His round pupils turned into slits... and Orochimaru spoke with his voice. "I see you aren't as incompetent as my host suspected," the leech demon smiled.
Kabuto assumed the god was about to kill the pony, to protect their secret... but the pony seemed so nonchalant. She just shrugged her shoulders. "So would you like me to start working on a better seal?"
Orochimaru frowned, the pony wasn't scared of him. Could she possibly be powerful enough to pose a threat?... or was it she didn't view him as one.
"I don't exactly approve of sealing any sentient creature," The mare waved off. "But seeing as you literally can't survive without a host, its best to insure you can safely co-exist. With how your clan reacts to the mere mention of your name. I can assume any of them would be honored to be your next host."
"Kabuto is a decent enough body, for now." Orochimaru spoke truthfully. "Though I would prefer if I could do more then move his lips."
She raised an eyebrow, "You have full control of his body. Though for a limited time. I can try to extend that time period, if that's what you mean."
Orochimaru smiled, "That would be much appreciated. I can't exactly help my clan, with the measly few minutes I have now. Not to mention, it takes a toll on my host."
Minuette nodded, "I can see that. I'll begin work right away. You should have 50 / 50 levels of control, once I'm done, and needn't fear of exhausting your host. Outside of any typical strain, from physical or magical activities."
"I'd appreciate that." Orochimaru crawled back into the darkest corner of his host mind.
Kabuto, once he had control again, quickly lurched forward, and emptied his stomach. His body was shaking, and he had a killer headache.
"That shouldn't happen anymore." She vanished the mess. "After I get the seal working properly. Let me take some more scans, and call a few experts. You should be more easily co-existing with each other, soon enough."
Naruto looked out the window, to spy the swirling space dust. He was currently sitting in one of the lounges, along the hall of the Cargo bay. Just admiring the view as he waited for his always late Sensei.
Naruto could guess, long before he looked, thet that voice didn't belong to a Shinobi. No Shinobi spoke that title towards the "Demon Brat", without a good deal of resentment in their voice.
Sure enough it was an orange Pegasus filly... wearing far too little clothing. She had on a light blue tank top... that cut off at her abdomen. Then a pair of red short shorts.... So tight that Naruto could easily tell she wasn't wearing any underwear.
Most of the other species weren't used to wearing clothing all the time. So they didn't have a good deal of fashion sense. They only complied, because they learned the Federation Terrans wear clothes 26 hours a day, and they liked to copy their saviors... still, most of them wore the bare minimum of clothing, to help prevent matts in their fur.
They also didn't seem to understand the point of shirts. As their nipples were on their tummy, not their chest. Naruto was just blushing, staring at them. They weren't like human boobs, definitely more like an animals, but it is the principle of the matter. He shouldn't be able to see those.
'Hello!" The filly waved her hand in front of Naruto's face.
The boy blushed, "Y-yeah?"
"Oh good." She sighed with relief. "You spaced out there a moment. I would hate to tell the Hokage I broke his ward."
Naruto gave another blink, studying the filly's mane and coat colors. He'd seen her around, but they never talked before. Naruto didn't pay that much attention to civilians. The Shinobi species hadn't had Civilians, not since the world got blown up... so he didn't really know how to talk to them.
"Can I help you with something?" Naruto tried to be polite... but his tone failed miserably. Old man Hokage was going to have words if this got back to him.
The Shinobi might not respect Naruto, but the other races saw him as a young Prince. Given he was the ward to his people's leader.
"No need to be like that," the filly smirked. Before sitting at his table, without being prompted... or asking. "I was hoping to get some pointers, and your the only Shinobi around."
"Eh?" Naruto grew more confused by the second. "Pointers?"
Scootaloo rolled her eyes, "For your weird hand spells. I signed up with the Guard, last week, but my Sensei is a pony, and doesn't know anything, outside the Shadow clone Jutsu. I'm learning right beside her, but we are both struggling, and my Magic reserves aren't big enough to have a lot of clones practicing the spells, errr Jutsus, and going to school. My Aunt only let me in the guard, if my grades didn't drop."
"Aunt?" Naruto blinked, again. For some reason his mind focusing on that... probably because it's the last thing she said, after giving her entire life story.
The filly rolled her eyes, "That's what my other mom likes to be called."
Naruto blushed, as he remembered ponies had a huge female population. So it wasn't that uncommon for multiple mares to share the same husband... or even group together without a husband.
The ponies had some kind of "potion", that could impregnate a mare, with a drop of another mare's blood. So Naruto assumed that is how this filly was born... boys were pretty rare, for ponies, so they had come up with this potion as to make that a moot point. This meant the boys wouldn't have as much pressure on them to have as many children as possible, in order to preserve the species... so they were no longer sex slaves. Which appeared to be how herds operated a thousand years ago, and why so few Stallions were willing to join a herd now.
Naruto shook his head, and tried to think about what she was actually asking. Sounded like she needed someone to train with. Naruto smiled, always up for some training, "I wouldn't mind practicing with you."
"Great!" she hopped out of the chair.
"Come by the Hokage Tower, after I get off work."
The filly froze, "Work?"
"Well yeah." Naruto shrugged, "My shift is in like 10 minutes, I'm just waiting for my teammates."
The filly visibly deflated, "I was hoping we could train now..."
"Sorry, busy... though my Sensei is usually late, so we could go over some hand seals, now... just can't use them this close to the hall."
The filly nodded, sitting back down, this time right next to Naruto. The boy started showing her a few scrolls (that the old man wouldn't mind him sharing), and walking her through the hand seals.
Sunburst smiled, as he was working along side the Federation Engineers, and the various pony teams (and a few minotaurs, as they actually had a better understanding of engineering then most races of Equus). They were installing the new Magic based Warp Engine. They still hadn't come up with a fitting name for it, although a few had just come to refer to it as the "Magical Warp Engine"... which was a bit on the nose.
Lieutenant Torres, the chief engineer, was at the console beside him, overseeing the installation. She might not have magic (and Sunburst still wasn't sure how that was possible) but she was able to grasp the theories well. Magic was only possible through science, after all.
The various species of Equus, might never have evolved past archaic terminology, but they had a better understanding of magical theory, then even the Shinobi. Which the Shinobi certainly weren't lacking. They had just focused on combat and healing. They also had a fairly decent understanding of seals. Though they hadn't developed into any other magical crafts, not even Runes. Which were closely related to seals, but a more advanced form of the science.
But that's beside the point... what was his point? He shook his head. He tended to ramble a lot, and get distracted easily, especially while tinkering with techno magic. It actually helped him zone out, and have his body do what it needed, automaticlly.
Sunburst had, ironically, flunked out of magic school... but not for his knowledge. He was considered the most well studied wizard of his age... now anyway, but his actual magical power was laughable. He could barely preform levitation spells, the most basic of all unicorn powers...
Yet he had been, finally, recognized for his knowledge... and even declared the head wizard of their new council of creatures. With a team under him, of dozens of other races (the most well studied mages of their species)...
Truthfully, none of them had a lot of power. Those with "Higher Chakra reserves" tended to join one of the new factions of the guard. Becoming field specialist, where Sunburst's job was more theory and invention. Application of those inventions, was to be the guard's responsibility.
"Buck Sunburst," Starlight grinned at him. "I can't believe you built this!"
"Excuse me!" Doctor Whooves glared, from his place under the engine. He angrily spat out the wrench in his mouth, though was still holding the space tool, of the Federation, in his hands. "I was the lead scientist on this little endeavor."
"Yes, but Sunburst was the lead enchanter," Starlight smiled. Then added, "And Miss Torres was the lead engineer. Then you each had a team of 20, helping you. I understand it was a joint effort," she assured... more because she was getting a lot of glares, and felt she was supposed to. "But that doesn't mean I can't praise my friend for his part in it."
Whooves continued to scowl at her, suspicious, and although he didn't believe her to be sincere, he decided to just get back to work. Putting the wrench back into his muzzle, he slid under the engine once again.
Sunburst sweat dropped. Particularly at Starlight's sigh of relief. As if she had just passed some test, which she clearly just failed. Sunburst loved his oldest friend... but she really was terrible at social interactions.
"Starlight," Sunburst called. "Although I appreciate the morale support. We are kinda busy right now. This is going to take us a good few weeks.... and it's delicate work."
Starlight's ears pinned, "Right... yeah, I'll just...I'll get out of your manes." she slumped, and trotted out of the Engineering room.
Sunburst felt like glue, but he couldn't have Starlight frustrating the teams. Not when they were working on something so delicate... he'd make it up to her...
Iruka smiled, as the school bell rang, and all the children vanished in puffs of smoke. He could feel his own clones, also, dispell themselves. He, and the other instructors, where also using Shadow Clones. That way they could teach their subjects to different groups of students.
The students' clones would spend the entire school day, each with a different instructors' clone, learning a different subject. No need to Switch between subjects. As There were more then enough clones to learn everything.
Math, Physics, Biology, Astronomy, Literature, Household "Spells", combat "Jutsus", the Different Cultures of the united "magical" races, a separate class to go over the races and cultures in the Federation's database, and 1 elective.
While the clones were at school, the real children were out learning a trade, from a real person.
The younger children, that couldn't make many Shadow clones, focused on learning basic things. Reading and writing, colors, how to tell time. After they mastered those, they moved on to their racial magics. For the Shinobi, they learned their clan's various techniques.
The pony building techniques had really come in handy. Allowing for each species to have a thriving Village, in their own Pocket Dimension. Each complete. With everything from houses, shops, bars, parks (both "theme" to "play"), even farms.
Although the center of trade remained the Harmony Tree Dimension, the villages were finally independent. They had, at last, reached a point of stability, in their new governments. Complete with their own bill of rights, and basic laws.
Along with the laws of the "Voyager Council". As the council of species had agreed to name themselves, after the ship they now called home.
However, when all the joint civilizations were to be lumped together, they were to be referred to as either "Magicals" or "Voyagers". Which they then requested of the Terran crew. They weren't particularly fond of calling themselves "Equusians", nor excluding themselves from the Shinobi. While the Terrans didn't like calling Sapient lifeforms "Creatures", as that was actually an insult by some alien lifeforms.
Things were finally stable... it made sense someone would throw a wrench in the gears.
"This is... unexpected," Orochimaru smiled, with Kabuto's mouth. He was thoroughly enjoying how much easier it was, thanks to his new seal.
The leaders of most of the "Realms", as was the new official name for the pocket dimensions attached to Voyager, sat before the god of the sound village, or at the very least his host. It was rather easy to switch between the souls, that inhabited this body.
Thankfully, Kabuto had no issue doing this with some regularity. Though they tried to keep that hidden from the Hokage... unsuccessfully if these creatures presence was any indication.
They had gone to the Sound Clan, in the dead of night, and requested this meeting. All hidden in thick robes, with hoods over their faces. Not removing them until they were in the estate.
Dragon Lord Ember growled, "These humans want to use our hatchlings as canon fodder, against not only the Borg, but all their enemies."
Orochimaru, working Kabuto's body like a puppet, gave a shrug, "We Shinobi see no problem with this." He was seated with them on the pillows, around a low table, eying the strange aliens before him. All the while, casually sipping tea. "We built our homes on the backs of child soldiers."
Prince Rutherford snapped, "Well Yaks have problem! Yaks no stand for such! Children precious to Yaks!!!"
Grubber, the newest leader of the Albino Apes, since the Storm King was left to die on Equus, "We've been pushing the Federation, seeing just how far they are willing to go... we are not pleased with the results."
Capper nodded, trying to use his charms, and hoping that could pass for diplomacy. Frankly he didn't know why he, a con artist, was chosen to be saved... besides the obvious. The tree may not have had a lot of options for his species. Most of them were an ocean away, and probably beyond the trees limits.
Regardless, that didn't stop his fellow felines from voting HIM into office. He was a respected member of the underworld, at least to the cats... but this wasn't the same thing as stealing food and selling it, for cheap, to orphaned kittens. He was just trying to survive in the Tartarus hole he grew up in.
Regardless, he could sweet talk any creature, "We know you have been sowing descent amongst our creatures. And well normally that would be frowned on, the greater problem is you have a point... The Federation isn't what Janeway promised us. They only want to use us.
"Celestia wants us to show Janeway the newest transcripts, in an attempt to disillusion her... but she is a soldier. She has orders. She will be honor bound to follow them... it is regrettable but we can't trust her to act for our best interest."
Orochimaru's grin only grew. Maybe they would have the resources, needed to take the ship, after all. "What do you propose?"
Tobi smiled, showing off the Terrans' new home. "The council agreed to build this, for your crew. It's the least we can do, for basicly stealing your cargo bay."
Janeway awed. There was a small town, built inside one of the pocket dimensions. The buildings looked like something straight off a Federation Planet. Complete with Replicators, a Holosuite tower, and an amazing power plant.
The Ponies had managed to make a perfect human town. They really had learned so much, in such a short time.
The Voyager Council had insisted that the entire Terran crew come to this storage unit, for a "Surprise". The Captain had tried to send people, in groups... but strangely that didn't seem necessary. After all, the ship had more then enough competent crew, through the various Magicals, to operate the ship while the humans enjoyed a party.
The Uchiha ensured the Captain thought that... and slowly, she realized the thoughts weren't her's.
Walking over to Tuvok, as the Vulcan was overseeing the housing assignments... with the magicals having already brought all their belongings, and were carrying them for the Terran crew.
"Tuvok?" Janeway tried to be discreet. "Somethings wrong." Unfortunately, the man standing next to him... was an Uchiha, in a Starfleet uniform... Who's eyes instantly locked on her's.
Once everything was said and done, with all the Terrans in their own homes, Tobi Uchiha put a sleeping Genjutsu, over the small village. Having all the humans rest within their new beds. The rogue fraction of magicals, were trying to handle this as benevolently as possible.
They dare not bring any harm to their host, as these Terrans had shown them nothing but kindness. However, and despite the unfortunateness, they could no longer allow the Federation to dictate the lives of their children.
Once all the magicals were out of the Terran Dimension, Orochimaru painted a complex assortment of seals all over the door. Then The leaders of the Griffins, Dragons, Cat Anthros, Albino Apes, Kirin, and Yaks, stepped forward. They each cut their palms, or foot, and smeered their blood over the appropriate spots the Shinobi pointed out.
Finally, the Dragon Lord allowed Orochimaru the use of her scepter. So that he could channel the power of the dragon god, Bahamut, himself, into the runes.
"There, now the doors will only open if you lot, or your descendants, agree to it." Orochimaru smiled, as he handed the scepter back
Ember sighed, clearly having second thoughts, despite already having gone through with everything.
Tobi assured, "Don't worry, your Dragon-ness. They have everything they need, both for entertainment and survival. They'll be fine. Now, we just got to tell the council, that we turned what was supposed to be a gift, into a prison."
Everyone stared at him, but Tobi could only blink.