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Avast Ye Scurvy Pony!

by Wafflepan

The calm, clear oceans had lulled the crew of the small ship into a false sense of security, their vigilance slipping as more and more ponies succumbed to the warm embrace of the tropical sun. As time passed the only pony not lounging about in the sun or deep in a keg of grog was the one at the steering wheel, slumped over with a glazed look of sheer boredom plastered on his tragically sober face. Yawning, he gazed out at the flat, clam waters, blue in every direction. He was about to shift back into his former position of relative comfort when a tiny anomaly on the horizon caught his attention, prompting a second look. Snapping up a spyglass, he scoured the waves for the object, finally coming to rest on it and gazing intently for several minutes before realizing what the dark, ominous shape was. The spyglass clattered to the deck as the crew member rushed onto the merchant ship’s deck, shouting hoarsely at the top of his lungs.

“Pirates! Black sail sighted on the horizon! Dear Celestia, they’re coming right for us!”

The first salvo of cannonfire centered on the rudder and side of the ship, obliterating any hope of steering or counterattack. The massive black ship began to gain on the crippled freighter, decks brimming with cruelest and most black hearted scum afloat; who’s captain was the stuff of legends, a name fearfully whispered by anypony who sailed the high seas. A captain renown and feared for her cunning, tactical mind that left her enemies in pieces at the bottom of the ocean.

“Heave to, you pathetic swine!” Captain Sparkle shouted as the ship pulled along side the wallowing merchant ship. “Obviously your vessel’s hold is brimming with treasure, ripe for the taking!” Already ponies swung across the gap between the two ships, pulling wickedly sharp scimitars and dueling with the woefully inept (and inebriated) guards aboard the fat merchant ship. First ensign Pie dashed up to the captain gasping for breath and attempting to tell her things at the same time. Captain Sparkle shook the gasping ensign until she stopped talking and looked her in the eye. “Now Pinkie, I want you to be calm and tell me slowly what happened, using complete sentences. Understand?” Pinkie Pie nodded eagerly, taking a huge breath before bursting out: “Three battleships, Celestia’s royal navy, bearing down on us! It was a trap!” Twilight Sparkle’s eyes grew wide and she absentmindedly tossed her nonsensical ensign off to the side, shouting orders to the helmspony.

“Helm! three of her majesty’s best ships coming after us! Can you outrun them?”

“Only three ships? We’ll be gone in ten seconds flat!” helmspony Dash replied, giving the captain a cocky smile as she grabbed the ship’s wheel and spun it viciously to the right.

A thunderous broadside from Twilight’s ship blasted the corpse filled decks of the merchant freighter into splinters, bloody shattered remains vanishing into the deep as the pirate ship cruised onward, three of Celestia’s fastest ships closing in, hellbent on vengeance.

Admiral Rarity sat at the bow of the Red Dawn, glaring at the ugly black scab that despoiled the ocean a good distance in front of them, a floating crime against fabulosity and personal hygiene that could go unpunished no longer! She turned to her second in command, who was visibly shaking. “Lieutenant Fluttershy, it seems we’ve almost come within range of the ship, be a dear and inform the boarding crews and cannon teams, would you?

“Yes, of course Rarity... I’ll just be... Um...” Fluttershy stammered, dashing off below deck to alert the soldiers of the impending battle.

First Officer Applejack lightly tapped Rarity on the shoulder, a concerned look on her face. Sugarcube, I reckon if we go toe to toe with that thing, its guns will tear us apart. Not much left of that poor ole merchant ship but splinters and dust!”

Rarity nodded in understanding and issued a new set of orders, a flanking maneuver that would put the Dawn directly behind the enemy ship instead of alongside it. Glancing at the other two ships to the left, she scowled as both of the accompanying ships accelerated towards the fleeing vessel, pulling alongside at point blank.

“Who ordered the Summer Gale and the Willow to pull alongside their ship? Its downright suicidal!” Rarity yelled to nobody in particular. Already Twilight’s boat and two ships were locked in combat, cannons flashing and every deck a confusing melee of steel and blood. “Move the Dawn into a firing position and take out the rudder, she’s not getting away this time!”

        A withering cascade of grapeshot shredded the rudder into little more than soggy fibers, leaving Twilight’s ship stranded in the ocean with no hope of escape. Rarity glanced up at the helm of the black beast, eyes widening in surprise as she met the furious glare of Rainbow Dash across 30 feet of ocean. With a creaking shudder the Summer Gale sheared off from the pirate ship and began sinking, nosing beneath the waves and vanishing within minutes as the water rushed though her mangled hull. The Willow  met the same fate seconds later, cracking in half as the ship simply disintegrated under the withering broadside Twilight delivered.

The Red Dawn slammed into the side of their foe, tearing a mortal wound through every deck with the blunt metal ram on the bow of the ship. fighters began swarming over the already beleaguered pirates, slaughtering indiscriminately as Twilight’s forces began to retreat.

Rarity stepped daintily onto the slightly listing deck of the crippled ship; the fighting had finally begun to die down and now the sounds of the ship’s death throes could be heard over the clash of steel: a creaking groan as the sea rushed into gaping wounds in her side. Rarity calmly walked up the steps to the helm with Applejack following close behind and Fluttershy hanging above her. Twilight, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie were the only three survivors, cornered by a wall of bristling steel.Rarity strode calmly onto the top deck,  waving away the scores of guards ringing the three and let out a small laugh. facing Twilight, Rarity smiled. “You have no idea how hard it’s been to find you!”

Ok, I’ve written three separate endings because I couldn't decide which one was the best

1. Grimdark, sad, etc.

2. Whimsical, a bit random, lighthearted. My personal favorite.

3. Friendship happy ending  

1.         “You’ve left quite a trail of destruction, Twilight. Ponyville burned to the ground. Over twenty ships sent to the bottom by your cannons, and the theft of far more gold and treasure then Celestia wants to consider.” Rarity continued, looking between Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie. “And corrupting two loyal Equestrian citizens with this roguish nonsense! Frankly, I’m disappointed in you dear.” Twilight whipped out her sword and charged at Rarity, screaming incoherently, only to be stopped cold by a slamming kick from Applejack that sent her crashing to the deck, blackness eating at the corners of her vision. “Why did you do it, Twilight? Throw away everything you had, burn Ponyville to the ground and flee into the oceans? What were you trying to accomplish?”

        “Celestia has to be stopped! She’s a cold, manipulating tyrant and everyone is too blind to see it! she’s been ruling over Equestria for thousands of years and it can’t go on any longer!” Twilight shouted at Rarity, her voice shifting into a fanatical tone, hysteria eating away at the edge of her words. Rarity shook her head slowly, a sad, pained expression on her face as Applejack’s hooves came down on Twilight again, plunging her into darkness.


        The skies above the Canterlot gallows were cold and grey, a bitter wind cutting through Twilight’s coat as she walked down the long path leading to the swaying noose. Throngs of jeering ponies stood on either side held back by ranks of guards, their taunts incoherent and distant to Twilight as she walked past. As she neared the gallows, she spotted Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash standing off to the side, their legs shackled in chains. Pinkie Pie stared at the earth, singing quietly to herself with here eyes jammed tightly shut and Rainbow Dash was trembling, her eyes tearful as Twilight walked by. “Hey, it’s going to be ok. We’ll see each other again in a couple of minutes, I promise.” She said in a reassuring tone. “Actually no. You won’t. Unlike you, these two cooperated, and they got a good plea bargain, instead of the death sentence.” Fluttershy interjected, her voice laden with barely contained rage. “You killed so many, Twilight. Innocent ponies who just wanted to live their lives, and you killed them all.”

        Rainbow Dash burst into tears and buried head in Applejack’s shoulder, who gave Twilight small salute, her expression grim. As the hangpony’s noose tightened around Twilight’s neck the wind shifted and she caught a tiny snatch of Pinkie Pie’s song, in a quiet, sobbing voice. “...So g-giggle at t-the ghosty...”

2.         Twilight stared down Rarity with a grin. “Couldn’t have been too hard, Admiral.” Her horn flashed a brilliant, ultramarine hue and the helm exploded in a maelstrom of fire and light. Picking herself off the ground, Rarity stared down Twilight across the shattered, crazily tilting remains of the ship, her expression livid. “You messed up my mane! You’ll die for that!” Her horn glowed with an intensity that matched Twilight’s, the two unicorns dueling with lightning and fire across the deck. High above Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash pursued each other through the rigging as the sky grew overcast and lightning split the sky in the distance. Pinkie Pie extinguished the smoking tip of her mane and launched herself onto the still recovering Applejack with a maniacal laugh, both ponies crashing through the weakened deck and disappearing into the now raging sea as the wind picked up in intensity, a sleeting downpour following in its wake. Still Rarity and Twilight battled on, their spells destroying the ship around them as each sought to kill the the other. High above the ship Rainbow Dash slammed into Fluttershy, grabbing her as lightning blasted them into oblivion an instant later. Reeling after a powerful attack by Rarity, Twilight tripped over a loose board and went sprawling to the deck. Rarity strode towards Twilight calmly, a flash of lightning silhouetting her against the inky black sky as she leaned down and whispered in Twilight’s ear. “Game over dear. I win again.” the unicorn rammed her sword into Twilight’s heart, laughing as the storm tore the ship apart around her and the sea devoured the remains.

        “No fair!” Dash argued, glaring at the game board they all sat around in Twilight’s library. “Three ships against one? How were we supposed to win?”

        Rarity laughed and knocked the tiny black ship sitting on the game board onto its side, shaking her head in amusement. “Rainbow Dash, both teams started with the same number of resources; its all about what you do with them!”

        “I hate losing,” the pegasus muttered, falling back out of her chair onto the carpet.

        Twilight glanced out the window at the storm raging through the skies, which showed no signs of abating any time soon. “The storm is still going strong, we might be here for a while...”

        Rainbow Dash jumped up and slammed her hoof on the table “I call a rematch! best two out of three wins!”

        Pinkie Pie shouted something in agreement; the exact words were lost to the muffling powers of a popcorn bag her face was stuffed in.

        “I reckon it’s my turn to captain this here fleet, no offense Rarity, I just think your ship names could use a little work” Applejack added, slamming her hoof down in front of Rainbow Dash’s.

        “And I captain for the pirates this time! Aw man, this is gonna be awesome!” Rainbow finished, tossing the dice down for first roll. Everypony around the table crammed closer to get in on the action, laughing and joking as thunder boomed in the distance and rain pounded against the windows.

3.         Without any warning Rarity ran up to Twilight and hugged her, Applejack doing the same for Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy tackling Pinkie with an embrace. “Two years ago you and these two just vanish, and don’t even tell us where you’re going? Shame on you, Twilight! I thought we were friends!”

        “I... what? Is this some kind of joke? you work for Celestia’s navy!” Twilight stared up into Rarity’s smiling, tearful face, confused beyond coherent sentences.

        “Cmon now sugarcube, did ya really expect us to just give up on three of our friends?” Applejack asked, lightly slugging Twilight in the shoulder. “We’ve been across half the ocean tryin to find you three!”

        “We joined up with the navy... because it was the only way to find you.” Fluttershy explained, switching from hugging Pinkie Pie to Twilight. “We were so worried...that...something had happened...”

        “Ok, so you finally tracked us down, we’re all here, but now what? The three of us are wanted by Celestia for piracy, it’s not like we can just go back to Ponyville and forget all about this.”

        “Gee Twi, for the egghead of the group you sure can be thick sometimes.” Applejack grinned. “What else are we gonna do but join ya?”

        “We have a ship...” Rarity started, gesturing to the much bigger, sleeker and faster Dawn.

        “, have a crew...” Fluttershy added, gesturing to the ranks of tough, battle hardened sailors.

        “And you know how to do all sorts of pirate stuff, like pillaging and keelhauling!” Applejack finished triumphantly, emphasizing her point by slamming her hoof onto the deck. “Even ta me this adds up to one heck of a deal!”

        Within weeks new rumors abounded among all who sailed the seas, quietly whispered from crewmember to crewmember as they sat in taverns and on docks. A ghostly warship, one that by all rights should be a sunken wreck, sailing the oceans, forever veiled in a creeping wall of fog. A ship crewed by mysterious and unknown figures who left their pursuers in shambles and vanished without a trace.

        Rarity sat on the bow railing, fidgeting with her mane and talking to Twilight sitting beside her. “We really must find a better way to sneak up on ships than that magic fog of yours. The moisture is wrecking my fabulous mane!”

        “If you can find a better way to hide a giant ship on the open ocean let me know.” Twilight replied, turning towards the stern to oversee the rest of the ship.

        Fluttershy sat in the crow's nest talking to passing seabirds while Pinkie cavorted on the main deck, turning cartwheels and belting out various sea shanties she had picked up on their last visit to port. Rainbow Dash sat at the helm, loosely gripping the ship's wheel as Applejack called out orders to the various ponies working on deck to adjust sails and tighten ropes. Twilight switched her gaze back towards the rolling ocean, already plotting their next raid on Celestia's shipping lines, a faint smile creeping across the edge of her mouth as the voices of her five closest friends drifted into her ears.

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