Corsairs, Cannons, and Colts
Written by: Squall Chaser
“TWIIIIIIIIIILIGHT!” Came the sound of a familiar, voice of a certain, bouncy, bubble-gum loving, and cotton-candy-colored pony. Twilight shifted under her covers, hoping the ignore it and it will go away method may work here. She was in no fit state to go to a party today, she’d come down with the dragon-pox. She was covered from horn to tail in itchy green spots, she was running a slight fever and had a headache to match it. “TWIIILIIGHT! TWIIILIGHT! I need to speak with you it’s an emergency!”
Twilight sat up slowly, the ice pack slid down her back giving her an unappreciated chill. She didn’t want to open the curtains and let the sun’s harsh light into the library. She sighed declaring to nopony unparticular, “Oh, I hope for her sake this isn’t an excuse to open the library for a ‘Get Well Soon’ party.”
Twilight slid the curtains open, wincing as Celestia’s sun beamed into the previously darkened room “What is it Pinkie? Can’t you see I’ve got the dragon-pox?” Twilight normally wouldn’t have been this short towards Pinkie, knowing the last thing on Pinkie’s mind is to make anypony feel bad.
Pinkie wasn’t bouncing as she normally was; this was seemed to convey her since of urgency to Twilight. “There’s pirates Twilight, a bunch of them” Pinkie started into her normal randomness as she told Twilight about the pirates “They were all like Arrgh, and I was like EEEEEEEEEEP! And they were like Bwar-har-har-har. Then their Capitan came out and was like ARRRGH, and they were like ARRRGH back, and I was like AAAAAAAAHHHHH! And now I’m here!”
Twilight’s fever burdened head whirled, the world took a second to stabilize, it wasn’t too soon either, the Hay and rose petal sandwich spike had made for her had almost made a curtain call. “Pinkie I *Blorch*, Pirates this far inland is just *Blorch* crazy. I mean how’d they even get their ship here?”
“Well they flew it here, you see it’s…” Pinkie Pie was cut off by a moan from Twilight.
“It flew? Pinkie you realize that doesn’t make any sense right?”
“Yeah but. . . “Pinkie stammered
“Look Pinkie I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings, but I’m in no shape to play games with you right now. I promise the first thing I do when I’m all better is come over and play with you, then we can make a nice batch of cup-cakes afterwards, how’s that sound?”
“It sounds good but…” Pinkie really wanted Twilight’s help but Twilight had closed her window and shut her curtains again.
“Spike” Twilight called feebly, “would you fix me some tea, I think we’ve still got some with Zacora’s anti-nausea medicine in it, please hurry.” Twilight levitated her bucket towards her.
Pinkie had moved on to her “In case of misunderstanding” pony, she wasn’t sure how to convince her, but somehow Rainbow Dash would have to understand. It wasn’t a terribly long time before Pinkie stood under Rainbow’s cloud house. “Rainbow Dash, are you in there?”
Her question was answered with the sky blue head poking up over a cloud, the beautiful rainbow mane was disheveled slightly more than usual. “What’s up Pinkie?” Called Rainbow Dash.
“You’ve got to come; there are pirates in Sky Mirror Lake!”
Rainbow Dash flew down to the ground, standing in front of Pinkie she tilted her head a little, “Say again?”
“There are pirates in Sky Mirror Lake; I tried to get Twilight’s help but…” Rainbow Dash’s expression changed a little.
“You do know she’s sick don’t you, as in with a fever and all.”
Pinkie nodded furiously, getting a little annoyed with being cut off, this WAS important but nopony seemed to care. “LISTEN! There are pirates, yes. They flew in on a big ship that was all like, WOWN, WOWN, WOWN, WOWN, and then SPLASH! It’s sitting in Sky Mirror Lake, and Rainbow Dash I swear you have to come with me. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a cupcake in my eye.”
Rainbow Dash gave in “Okay Pinkie, let’s go see these pirates.”
Pinkie had insisted Rainbow Dash walk, much to the pegasus’s protesting. Rainbow Dash was still mumbling as they came up to the edge of the woods near Sky Mirror Lake. “Now Pinkie, I’ll bite, where’re the pirates?”
Pinkie pushed Dash’s head through the bushes, the sky blue pegasus gasped immediately. “OMYGOSHOMYGOSHOMYGOSH, THERE ARE PIRATES HERE!” Rainbow Dash spluttered. A gray pegasus standing near the bushes looked over.
The head retracted into the brush rapidly. Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie were running back to town, Dash looked at Pinkie “I think we’re going to need everyone to convince Twilight this is real.” She said barely missing a tree branch.
As they ran through town Pinkie stopped at Sugarcube Corner. She looked at the pegasus, “You go get Apple-Jack, I’ll get Fluttershy and Rarity.”
Dash merely nodded before going skyward. Pinkie ran full gallop towards the Carousel Boutique. She started pounding on the door, and yelling “Rarity, Rarity, come quickly!”
The door opened and a very puzzled looking Sweetie-Bell emerged from the shop. “Rarity’s not here, she went to get lunch, I think she went to the Meadowsweet Café.”
Pinkie thanked Sweetie and ran onwards, leaving the little white unicorn even more confused. Pinkie reached Fluttershy’s cottage and knocked carefully, she knew how Fluttershy would react to banging. The yellow pegasus stepped out into the sun shine from her little cottage. “Oh, hello Pinkie” she said in her quiet voice.
Before she could say much more Pinkie grabbed her and started running in the direction of the Meadowsweet café. “Sorry about this Fluttershy, but I don’t have much time to explain.” Pinkie said frantically, her normally cotton-candy, and powdered sugar voice sounding worried.
They ran into (literally) Rarity as she was leaving the Meadowsweet Café, with lunch for her and her sister. “My Pinkie Pie, why are you in such a hurry. You almost made me spill this delicious celery stalk soup I was carrying was bringing to Twilight. The poor dear hasn’t been able to keep much down.”
“Great, I need you and the others to convince her that there ARE pirates in Sky Mirror Lake.” Pinkie said.
Fluttershy and Rarity exchanged a ‘has she gone insane, it’s hard to tell with her’ look before they turned to Pinkie Pie. “Oh dear, I’d feel bad about waking her, she’s so sick and she needs her rest.” Fluttershy cooed.
“Pinkie, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way but, I don’t think Twilight’s in any shape for randomness today.” Rarity stated with a nod.
Pinkie merely shook her head “Dashie can confirm it, just wait she’ll be coming to Twilight’s house soon.”
Rarity and Fluttershy sighed, they both wanted to check in on their miserable friend anyway, but this seemed a ridiculous way to go about it. “Okay” said Rarity after a lengthy stare with Fluttershy, “But first, I promised my little sister lunch. We’ve got to stop by so I can drop her food off with her.”
Right then the delivery boy for the Meadowsweet Café stepped outside. He was a brilliant white pegasus with a perfectly white mane to match, his blue-eyed stare gave away his crush on Rarity. “I’ll take it for you Madame Rarity.” Said the colt affectionately dubbed Blunder-Dolt. He was more than graceful in the air, but on ground he was a train-wreck waiting to happen.
Rarity smiled, she cast her most powerful favor provoking glance at him, she even through in a couple of eye-lash bats for added effect. “Would you be so kind dear Sunder Bolt, I’d much appreciate it.” Rarity was one of few ponies who actually used his name.
“Of course, no charge, for you either Ms. Rarity, I’d do anything for you…” He looked near comatose as she put the package carefully in his saddle bags. Living up to his nick-name he took two steps out from under the awning and fell flat on his face. He stood shaking off the fall, “I’m alright!” he moaned staggering for a second. He took off with speed that would’ve impressed Rainbow Dash.
Pinkie Pie quickly bounced into view of the two ponies staring at him flying off. They both blinked when snapped back by Pinkie Pie. “Come on guys, we’ve got to be going!” She yelled before running down the path towards the library. Fluttershy and Rarity shared another stare before running after their random friend. It only took a few minutes before reaching Twilight’s library; Rainbow Dash and Apple-Jack were already waiting for them. The orange earth-pony with the cowboy hat stared at Pinkie, “Rainbow Dash said somethin’ about you seein’ pirate’s over’n Sky Mirror Lake?”
Pinkie nodded furiously, “yes scary, vicious, mean-looking pirates, with a ship and a captain and the ARRRGH and stuff.”
Apple-Jack stared at the two, both previously admitted pranksters “Yah know if this is one ah your lil’ pranks, I may have to buck your keisters.”
“It’s not we promise” Dash pleaded.
“Alright, we’ll see about this, you’ll have to explain it to us at the same time you explain it to Twilight though, I’m having a hard time understanding any of this.” Rarity said as she approached to knock on the library door.
Spike opened the door a few seconds after he heard the light knocking, a small pot of tea on a tray, it contained a small doily with some pills laid out on it. He looked at them, a slight look of annoyance fell over the small dragon’s countenance “You guys shouldn’t come in right now, Twilight needs her sleep. I’m personally in charge of making sure that she doesn’t get woken up again.” With this he looked at Pinkie Pie accusingly.
“Oh, I have something for her; I figured it would be something she’d keep down.” Rarity said levitating the small wrapped parcel out of her bag.” She turned her charm on stronger than with Blunder Dolt.
“Oh, well in that case, I suppose you can come in.” Said Spike very much under Rarity’s control.
Rainbow Dash leaned over to Rarity, “I’m not usually one for girly stuff, but someday you’ve GOT TO teach me how you do that.”
Rarity merely winked at her sky-blue friend as they walked into the library. A soft snoring could be heard upstairs. The five friends were all heading up the stairs when Spike called “Only Rarity, if Twilight feels like coming down the rest of you can see her. If not, I guess you’ll have to wait a little while before you can visit her.”
The white unicorn and the baby dragon headed upstairs. Rarities nudged open the door, and quietly sauntered over to Twilight’s bed. She nuzzled Twilights neck, the lavender unicorn stirred slightly. “Oh, hey Rarity” Twilight said sitting up a little.
Rarity laid the parcel down on the table set up next to Twilight’s bed. “Here darling, I thought of you when I saw this on the menu board.”
Twilight smelled the soup and her stomach rumbled. Spike set the tea on the table and climbed onto Twilights bed “Feeling better?”
“A little thanks to my Number One Assistant.” Twilight said giving the dragon a gentle nuzzle.
“The rest of the gang is down-stairs wanting to see you.”
Twilights thoughts wandered back to her earlier encounter with Pinkie Pie. She looked at Rarity, “Pinkie still going on about the pirates?” she asked.
Twilight grew suspicious when Rarity answered “Yes, and now she’s got Rainbow Dash talking about it too.”
Twilight put her face into her hooves; she looked at the dragon sitting on her bed. “Spike, could you bring them up here please?”
Spike nodded and headed down the stairs. Moments later the entire gang was jam-packed into her room. Twilight opened the soup and levitated the spoon into it. After she’d taken a bite of soup she looked at her friends “So what’s the deal with the pirates?” She asked, casting a scowl at Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie.
“Pinkie was right; I thought it was all a game on the walk to Sky Mirror Lake. Unfortunately it wasn’t. It scared the hay out of me when I saw their odd-looking ship bobbing in the middle of the lake.”
“Don’t forget to tell her one looked right at you” said Pinkie jumping up and down.
“Yeah he was a big grey pegasus and…” Rainbow Dash was looking around the room, at all the scowls, even Fluttershy seemed abnormally perturbed.
There was a brief moment of silence before there was another knock at the door. Spike walked down stairs again. Apple-Jack spoke “Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, I don’t know WHAT they hay you’re tryin’ to pull here. But I don’t much care for your disregard for Twilight’s well bein’.” She scolded.
Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie shrunk back a little. Spike reopened the door, “Rarity, it’s your sister, she wants to talk to you.”
“Yes well, I promised her today would be a special sister’s day. I didn’t mean to be gone so long. I best be getting back to Sweetie-Bell,” Rarity walked out of the room.
“Those apples ain’t gonna buck themselves, I’ll check in on ya tomorrow honey, after all I think we ALL have things we need to get back to.” Apple-Jack cast an angered glare at Pinkie and Dash before leaving the bedroom and shaking her head.
“Ummm…. Feel better Twilight,” Fluttershy said softly trying not to start a conflict as she carefully crept out the door.
Twilight took another bite of soup as she stared at Rainbow and Pinkie, “I’ll see you two later.”
The two both trudged guiltily down the stairs. Rarity was sitting in the main room of the library with her sister, “Well Sweetie, sorry today was off to kind an odd start, but I still have the rest of the day to spend time with my little shining jewel.” She nuzzled her sister affectionately. “Sweetie, is there something you’d like to say to Mr. Bolt for brining you here?”
“Thank you Mr. D… Bolt.”
Blunder Dolt made a low bow, he turned to leave the library and slid on a book and wound up smashing into a near-by wall. The five friends and Spike winced at this occurrence. Blunder Dolt, laughed as he read the title of the book, it was called ‘You never know when an accident will strike, emergency preparedness and how to practice.’
The friends started to leave the library, the door opened, some where there was a loud noise as if a thousand of Twilight’s books hit the ground, and the building across the street now had a large hole in it. Ponies were stampeding in the streets, a group of odd ponies with swords and other nasty instruments were running loose in the streets of Ponyville. A gray pegasus stopped in the streets and looked directly at Rainbow Dash. His bandana’d head tilted slightly, “Do I knows ye from somewheres, young missy?”
His distraction faded as he called to two other ponies, a unicorn and a second pegasus. “Boys, I find me self wonderin’, is there anything in a library besides books?”
“I dunno Shang, perhaps we’d better investy gate.”
The three ponies advanced, Blunder Dolt stepped out towards them, “please we’ll give you all the bits we have, just don’t bother our sick friend.”
“Aye but the cap’n be a big fan o’ books. She’d be mighty soar wit’ us if’n we didn’t bring back a few.”
Blunder Dolt attempted to step forward, a crack rang out, Blunder fell to the ground one of the pirates was carrying a fairly large pistol under his hat, a string tied to the trigger. The Pirates shoved past the distraught girls leaning over Blunder Dolt and stood in the library. “Right mates, sack everything ya can, then we’ll take these fillies with us aboard ship, they look as if they’ll do some fine deck-swabbin’.” The pirate turned Rainbow Dash around “If not, they’ll do us some good plank walkin’” The pirates threw back their heads shaking with laughter.
Two of them ran around the library throwing books and other odds and ends into their large sacks. The other remained between the scared fillies and the door. The pegasus with a ship’s wheel cutie-mark, held a long saber in his mouth. His eyes darting back and forth daring anypony to step forward, the fillies would occasionally cast him angered looks as they stared at Blunder Dolt lying still behind him. The other two had gone upstairs and were poking around near where Twilight was peacefully slumbering. Spike was sitting on her dresser. He’d barred the door and was trying to wake the unicorn up. “Twilight, Twilight you’ve got to get up, there’s pirates! Pinkie was right.”
Twilight under the effects of a very powerful sleeping flask was snoring peacefully. The broom Spike locked the door with cracked; the quick thinking blue unicorn grabbed Spike and threw him into the bag. He carefully levitated Twilight out of her bed, using his sinister magic to bind her securely in her blankets. He looked behind him, Spike’s muffled complaints coming from the bag, and he used magic to pick up a piece of the broom and swat the bag with it until Spike’s complaints stopped. He walked into the hallway his bounty magically hovering behind him. The second pegasus joined him. Together they walked into the main room of the library. Shang opened the door; he leaned outside and pulled something from a saddle bag. It was a small firework he placed it on the ground and lit it. After the pop and smoke cloud a boat with pegasi towing it flew onto the library lawn. Placing Twilight, Rarity and Apple-Jack and Pinkie into and binding them securely to the seats, the unicorn got into the boat. It started to lift off. The two pegasi who’d raided the library had Rainbow and Fluttershy tied together with them, the two pegasi of the mane-six, had been loaded with the loot bags. Before leaving the ground to join the boat, Shang kicked Blunder Dolt in the side. The four pegasi headed skyward, a large ship moved into view. It had an eerie figurehead displaying a skeletal sea-serpent, the sails were jet black with two blue strips going from top to bottom, a Jolly-Rodger flag was prominently displayed, the ship was flying by the help of four strange engines, with propellers on top, they seemed to be powered by a fire of some kind from the smoke they were putting out. The ship opened in the front, allowing the four pegasi and the long boat to board. It closed again, a large black earth pony with a golden mane stood waiting for them, “That’s the last of them, Shang Hide, get to the helm and set a course for Two Bits Island.”
The cruel gray pegasus saluted. “Aye, aye, First-Mate Cobblestone,” Shang quickly ran up the stairs to the main deck. “What have you brought for Captain Grimskies?” said the First mate inspecting the bags.
The remaining pegasus, and the unicorn snickered. “We brought her some books, some deck swabbers, and even a baby dragon.”
The First mate did a very good job at not looking impressed. “Very well, you two are needed at your stations; the boatswain’s waiting for you.”
The two saluted before leaving. Before long, the captain appeared at the top of the stairs, the First Mate pulled a whip out of his belt and cracked it above the heads of the ponies in the boat, “You will rise for Captain Storm Grimskies.”
The ponies in the boat were unable to stand because of the tight bindings, but they tried. The First Mate continued cracking the whip until a strong female voice was heard. “Enough of this you flab-bellied, air-head, they’ve been tied into the boat, they couldn’t stand if they wanted to.”
The captain stared at them, her lips parting to form a cruel smile, “I guess you’d best give them your knife and let them cut themselves out, ten lashings for the last one freed.”
The First Mate threw the knife into the middle of the boat; Apple-Jack stared at the others in the boat. She passed the knife over to Rarity, “You all cut’cher selves loose, I’ll take the whoopin’.” She said, the look in her eyes told them that there’d be no way of convincing her not to.
The Captain walked around the long boat, she opened the bag that held Spike, “Ah, wook at da coot baby dwagon!” She cooed.
Spike opened his eyes as the Captain removed him from the bag, he started to protest but she put some sort of sealant on his mouth. The cyan and black pegasus moved over to the blankets wrapped so bizarrely in the back of the boat. She gently parted them to reveal the still peacefully sleeping Twilight Sparkle. The Captain’s head tilted as she saw the green spots along the unicorn’s body. She walked up the stairs, returning with two earth-ponies, they lifted Twilight Sparkle and started moving her up the stairs “Careful you diamond dog mongrels, should she be injured, it’ll be the plank for both of you.”
Rainbow Dash spoke up, “Where are you taking her?”
“My quarters, not that it’s any of your business,” Storm glared at Rainbow Dash. “What should I do with you and the yellow one?” Storm sat pensively for a moment, “I know, you’ll be assistants to Galley Cook Firebrand, I know he’d be so happy to see some EAGER helpers.”
Rarity and Pinkie had cut themselves free, passing the knife to Apple-Jack, the captain looked over, “what’re you doing?”
“Ah’m getting’ un hog-tied.” Apple-Jack replied in a flip manner.
“Is that so? Did you forget something?” The Captain sneered.
“No I don’t reckon I. . .” There was a loud crack as the whip struck AJ’s back.
“Ten lashings and then you can cut yourself loose, as for the rest of you, welcome aboard Countess Marilyn’s Revenge!”
A large solid brown pegasus with a cutie-mark in the shape of a treasure chest walked into the room. He carried a saber in his mouth. He prodded the freed ponies forward onto the deck of the ship, the other members of the crew were running about doing their jobs, mostly pegasi, they all had the same colored bandana on their heads, they gave the fillies a frightening look as they were paraded about the deck. Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash were hauled into another passage below deck. Rarity and Pinkie Pie could still hear Apple-Jack screaming as they were both handed mops and buckets. The pirates started into a shanty and the ship began to move. The captain strode up from the under deck with AJ following behind her. AJ had long gashes from where the whip had struck. She strode gingerly over to the others where she was also presented with a mop and bucket. The three friends stared at each other a minute before the boatswain’s hoof collided with the back or Rarity’s head. “Get ta work, and putcher backs inta it. The cap’n says the deck is going to shine like a new bit when it’s done or there’s to be no supper for you and three lashings apiece.”
The three friends could already tell this was going to be a long and frightening adventure. Rarity’s mind kept wandering back to Blunder Dolt and how he was doing with Sweetie Bell. Sweetie Bell, she’d almost forgotten her sister was there, she didn’t even know if Blunder Dolt was alive to watch out for her. Her thoughts were interrupted by another smack against her head. She glared at the boatswain; he made a kissy-face at her before he set to work beating the other crew members into action. In the galley Rainbow Dash had a shock coming to her, “Firebrand? I didn’t think they meant you! Not my…. My…. Cousin…”
The orange and yellow pony with a mane of gold stared at her. “Rainbow Dash, how in the hay did YOU end up here?” said Firebrand in a very confused tone.
Twilight Sparkle lay in the Captain’s quarters, Storm sitting over her, rubbing a damp cloth against her forehead. Twilight awoke, she startled at the sight of the pegasus, this feeling didn’t last long for it was replaced by the sickness and the swaying of the ship. Twilight saw Spike with a seal over his mouth. She couldn’t stay conscious as the medicine she’d taken called her back to sleep.
To be continued.
Corsairs, Cannons, and Colts
By: Squall Chaser
Sweetie Bell was standing mortified over Blunder Dolt; his shining, white coat was stained magenta now. She nuzzled him gently “Please Sunder Bolt, get up! You’ve got to get up, they’ve taken Rarity!”
“Unnngh… My shoulder’s throbbing!” groaned the white pegasus. He stood slowly, releasing a slight hiss of air. His face turned grim when he’d seen the state the library was in. “Wow, they’ve taken almost every book here.” He said noting almost bare shelves.
Sweetie Bell burst into tears “And they took my sister, they took her and her friends to a big ship in the sky.”
“Why didn’t Rainbow Dash or Fluttershy come back?”
“They were tied up, they couldn’t leave the pirates.”
Blunder Dolt picked up one of the remaining books, the one he’d stumbled upon earlier. “Well, this looks like it could come useful right now, it’s got some first-aid procedures in it.” He turned it open to a page on bandaging and bleeding. “Sweetie, do you think you could get me some things?”
The little filly nodded vigorously. When she returned Blunder Dolt was standing in the door of the library. There were several, large plumes of smoke, and the Ponyville Fire Department was swarming trying to put all the blazes out. “I hope everypony’s okay.” He said, looking in the direction of the café he worked for.
With his shoulder bandaged, they walked out into town. Their first stop was the Carousel Boutique, it was actually okay except for a few broken windows, some ruined dress-forms, and some of Rarity’s jewels and mirrors had been taken. They moved towards Sugarcube Corner and stopped from the shock of what they’d found. It had been almost completely leveled, Mr. and Mrs. Cake were fine but their life’s work was sitting in ruins. They moved then to Fluttershy’s cottage which was miraculously untouched, it was just as pristine and peaceful as she’d always tried to keep it. The final stop they made was the Medowsweet Café, Squall Chaser, A solid black pony, with a Tornado and Crosshair cutie-mark stood in front of the building. “I’m sorry Blunder; it’s been burned to the ground. We haven’t found Mrs. Bailer yet, we’re pretty sure the pirates took her. Hay Bailer however was injured, he suffered some minor burns and a cut to his flank, however, he’s old and the doctors are worried about smoke inhalation.”
Blunder Dolt’s eyes flashed, “I’m going after them!” He bellowed. His brother stepped into his path; Blunder didn’t stop and slammed into him sending them both toppling.
“Look, I’m as angry as you are, but if just the two of us go then I can absolutely assure you we would be killed.”
“So what then?”
“I’m a member of the Equestrian Air-guard and so were you once. I figure, the two of us could train the ponies here enough to handle a single ship of pirates. After all they’ve all lost loved ones at the hands of those monsters.”
The white pony nodded “Let’s spread the word” his eyes were glowing with a fierce rage.
It didn’t take long for the ponies to assemble, there were so many volunteers it was astounding! Unfortunately, many of the ponies capable of fighting the pirates had been kidnapped by that very menace. Among the front of the group stood: the gray mail-mare Ditzy Doo, Big-Macintosh and a few apples, and a rather out-of-place looking blue unicorn. The once ‘Great and Powerful’ Trixie had returned to Ponyville only months after Twilight had bested her. Trixie had actually returned to Ponyville in hopes of a rematch, and possibly some serious groveling, when the pirates attacked. She’d been too afraid to do anything to stop them, but now she’d found out they’d taken Twilight, she wanted the honor of doing Twilight in to herself, there was no way she was about to let some pirate take it from her.
Blunder Dolt smiled, but his brother immediately face-hoofed. “Okay, we’ve got a lot of work cut out for us! You ponies need to know how to hold a sword, how to use it, and most importantly how to slay with it. Now I know to most of you this is going to be a bit unnatural, I understand that you ponies try your best not to fight.” He heard many a murmur of agreement from inside the gathered herd, “In this case, if you don’t fight, it could be your life or the life of a loved one lost at the hands of those savages! So, my brother and I are here to train you! If we could please have all the earth ponies and unicorns come to me. And can we have all the pegasi to my brother please?!”
There were many grunts and groans as ponies shuffled into their assigned areas. Squall Chaser’s eye immediately fell onto the blue unicorn with the rope wrapped around her. “What, may I ask, are you doing with that rope?”
“The Great and Powerful Trixie has a very special talent for knots! Watch and be amazed as The Great and Powerful Trixie brings this rope to life!” Her horn glowed with a bright blue light as the rope slithered off of her. It swayed like a toxic snake in front of the black pegasus, it lashed out and coiled around him, it bound him so tight he could barely breathe.
The rope eased off quickly, after a few deep breaths he looked at her “impressive! I’m sure that may come in handy.”
Trixie had a very smug look on her face. “The Great and Powerful Trixie is ALWAYS IMPRESSIVE!” Trixie was in the habit of holding out her fore-hooves while fireworks sparked around her, however her collection of fancy sparklers was destroyed in her last visit.
“Ummm…. Okay then, if you could do me a favor and just move over there…. Very far over there, we’ll get started shortly.”
Trixie walked off, her rope-snake following behind her. Squall’s eyes returned to the ponies in line. “Let me guess this one, you’re Big-Mac?”
“Uhuh, I’ve seen what your family can do on my many flights over your farm. Step over there please.”
Big-Mac and all of his able-bodied family members stepped into the box that’d been drawn on the ground. He looked over to see his brother’s recruitment box, nearly bursting with pegasi who’d come from Cloudsdale to reclaim missing family members. Squall shook his head; this was going to be a VERY difficult task.
After a few hours, the recruitment drive was over. Swords, helmets, and other useful battle regalia had been distributed. Blunder Dolt had taken to the air and the Pegasi had followed, “Now the secret to fighting in the air, is a series of dives and retreats. My brother and I shall now demonstrate the proper method of dueling in the air.”
There was a loud clash as the two brothers crossed blades. The wild hit-and-run fighting lasted almost an hour before Squall Chaser’s blade flew from his mouth. Blunder Dolt spat out his own blade as he gazed toward the stunned pegasi, “Now, we’ll let you practice, I’ll be back up in a moment to check your progress.”
“How soon can we go after them…” A voice called from the crowd.
“It’ll take a week, or two AT LEAST, for you to be ready for battle.”
A silence fell over the crowd. The ponies began to pair up and practice battling. The two instructors settled back onto the ground. This time Squall Chaser spoke “We shall now attempt to show you how to fight a winged enemy without you, yourselves, having wings.”
Blunder Dolt took off again, the swords clanging and shining in the fading light of late afternoon. Eventually the grounded pony threw Blunder Dolt’s sword into a nearby tree. Before he could speak, another sword landed inches in front of his face. He looked up to see Ditzy, a look of embarrassment on her face, and her sword missing. “Well, we shall now drop back a ways and see what happens. We’ll coach you whenever you need it. Just remember, disarm your friends, and slay your enemies.”
It was a long night of training for sure; it had lasted until they were training in moonlight. Blunder Dolt blew sharply on a whistle. His mouth opened and a sword landed in front of him, “Ditzy, can you please keep a better grip on…. Dwah?”
Ditzy’s sword was well secured in her mouth; her opponent however was searching frantically for his. Squall Chaser smiled, “Well, it looks as if our first night of training went pretty smoothly! Right now, I’d like you all to take your gear home, clean it, polish it, and get a lot of sleep! Tomorrow, we’ll be working you into shape; the ponies that perform the best will be rewarded. If you fall behind, that’s ok, just keep going! However, if I hear an ‘I can’t’, the pony who said it will be working out, instead of eating lunch! Do we all have an understanding?”
The crowd rang out with one voice “Yes, sir!”
Mean while on the Countess Marilyn’s Revenge, Storm sat over Twilight. She was patting her head with a damp cloth, “Shhh, there, there my little pony, it’s okay. I know how miserable it is to have the dragon-pox. I had them too when I was your age.”
Twilight’s eyes opened slightly, she saw the pegasus mare sitting there, she was slightly taller than Twilight, and even though she didn’t look it she was probably at least ten years older than her. “Where, where am I?”
“You’re on my ship, just lie back and be quiet now.” The captain turned, “I’ll go get us something to eat, and then we can talk more, okay?”
Twilight nodded, she lay back in the soft bed. After getting comfortable, the lavender unicorn looked at her new surroundings. The room was full of charts, maps, navigation tools, and most of all books. Twilight looked at the books on the table, a strange feeling of familiarity washing over her. ‘Wait a minute, I think those are my books!’ she thought to herself. She used her magic to pull one over towards her. Opening the small green book to the first page she saw it, a small red stamp that said, ‘Property of the Ponyville Municipal Library’
She took a second glance at the table, this time she remembered Spike was there. “Spike, where are we? Who’s that weird blue pegasus? Why are my books here? And, come to think of it, why aren’t you talking to me?”
Spike turned, he had tears in his eyes, and a small seal was placed over his mouth. Twilight gasped, without a second thought she used her magic to pull the seal away. “TWILIGHT!” He cried as he ran over towards her. The little dragon hugged her as hard as he could. “Twilight, these ponies are pirates, we’re on their ship right now!”
“I should’ve trusted Pinkie Pie; I just thought she wanted to play with me.” Twilight sighed, her head started to whirl again from all she’d taken in so far.
Rarity also had a considerable headache. She’d tried insisting to the boatswain that she just couldn’t keep doing this, “The mop water is making my mane filthy, and my beautiful tail is starting to get mats in it from where it’s been wet, and I’m not going to do this ANYMORE!” She sat on the deck with her lip poked out.
The boatswain let out a hardy laugh, “If ye insist, I be thinkin’ ye can spend a little time in the brig, wit’ da nice, clean, RATS!”
It took three of the pirates to haul Rarity down into the bottom deck, and throw her head first, into the small, metal cage, big enough to hold maybe five ponies. She sat rubbing her head, “I say, such brutish behavior, you’d think none of them had seen a lady before!”
The white unicorn sat back in the small cage, it was extremely cold, and there wasn’t much to fight it with. Without meaning to, Rarity let herself slip into a state of quiet sobbing.
Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy were in the kitchen with Firebrand when the door opened. Captain Grimskies stepped into the large galley area. “Brand, I’d like supper soon, I’d also like you to fix my guest a special bowl of soup. You think you can handle that?”
Firebrand nodded, “Yes Captain, I’ll have it up to you in no time flat!”
The Captain’s gaze fell onto Rainbow and Fluttershy; she could tell that Rainbow Dash was still seething. “Oh, and Firebrand, can I trust you, to discipline these two should they get out of line?”
Firebrand’s smile faded, “Yes Captain.”
With a joyous laugh, Storm left the trio alone in the kitchen once more. Dash had an expression of pure rage on her face, “Yes Captain? Firebrand, I’d never have guessed you’d be such a kiss-up!”
Her cousin didn’t meet her gaze, “I’m part of her crew, and I have been for some time now! I’m indebted to her Dash; after mom and dad died she took me in. If it wasn’t for Storm I’d have starved.” He covered his face with his forehooves, among the pirates you can’t show weakness openly. “Now Dash, you and your friend here should get to work, I don’t want to have to turn you over to the boatswain and his whip.” He laid a cook-book down in front of Dash. “Dash, you make the soup, Buttercup…”
“Fluttershy” the shy pegasus corrected, quietly.
“Whichever, you start on the crew’s dinner; after Dash is done she’ll help you. I will work on the Captain’s supper. I don’t think I trust Dash anywhere near it.”
Rainbow Dash stared at the cook-book, she issued a small moan. Fluttershy looked over her shoulder, “Rainbow Dash, you’re going to need, three cups of water, two potatoes, and….”
“What are you doing? Did you not understand me when I said we were making dinner for the WHOLE CREW?!” Firebrand roared.
“Yes, I did, but you see um, Rainbow Dash can’t um, well…”
“SPIT IT OUT!”
“I CAN’T READ!” Rainbow Dash, sat back a little, “I can’t read, I never learned how to, Fluttershy knows because we went to school together.”
“Yes, I tried to tell her that she should learn, but she said she wanted more flight practice. So far, she’s never told anybody but me.”
Firebrand’s expression became one of legitimate sorrow. “Oh, okay, yeah I’m used to working on the crew’s dinner as well as the Captain’s; I’ll be fine working on both. You two just work on the soup okay?”
“I think that would be fine,” Fluttershy squeaked.
Applejack and Pinkie Pie were currently being escorted below deck to the brig. The small metal cage was opened again, the orange and pink earth ponies were filed in and the door was slammed behind them. “Whew, I’ve never been so tired, or hungry, my stomachs a rumble, grumble, tumbling.” The bubble-gum colored pony sighed.
“Ah know the feelin’ sug, this was harder’n a day’s apple-buckin’.”
Applejack stopped when she heard whispers, “Who’s there? Show yerselves!” She squinted; she was barely able to make out a white unicorn. “Rarity, Is that you sugar-cube?”
“No, she’s not in this cage; I’ve talked with her though.” A pleasant, yet strangely energetic voice replied.
“Hey, I know you! You’re that DJ at Buckin’ Bill’s Night-Club.”
“That’s right! I’m D.J. PON-3! But you can call me Vinyl Scratch.”
Pinkie Pie began bouncing, “Almost everypony I know is here!” She paused “But that means, no one’s coming to rescue us!” There was a loud pop, and a rattling sound as her hair deflated.
“Well we’d better settle down, it’s going to be a long night for us.” Vinyl said, she patted the hay on the floor next to her.
The three ponies talked for quite a long time before the cell door opened again. Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and even Rarity were thrown into the cell. In their wake five trays of food slid into their midst. “Oh dear, I’m afraid there isn’t enough food for all of us!” Rarity cried dramatically to the pirates who’d locked them there.
“That’s right missy, the boatswain ordered us not to give you any grub.”
“What?! But I’m simply famished! Seriously, isn’t there any way, you two boys could sneak a pretty lady some food?” Rarity fluttered her lashes at them.
The pirates both looked at each other for a second or two, and then they burst out laughing. The door to the upper-deck closed and the six ponies were left in the dark again. All around stomachs started rumbling.
Rainbow Dash sighed “I’m really sorry I slept through lunch now.”
Rarity put on her bravest face, “I insist I take the punishment they’ve intended for me.”
“That’s awfully nice of ya Rare, but aren’t you hungry sug?”
“Not really, I had a big lunch.” She smiled, trying to look content, but her stomach was quick to give her away.
Vinyl spoke at last, “I had a big lunch too, I think you and I can share.”
The two unicorns split the food between them. All six friends sat for a while, eating in the darkness. When the food was done they all settled down in the hay. Fluttershy began to sing softly
“Hush now, quiet now, it’s time to lay your sleepy head. Hush now, quiet now it’s time to go to bed,” it wasn’t long before they all went to sleep, curled up to stave off the cold.
Above deck, even the pirates’ shanties had become softer. The Countess Marilyn’s Revenge sailed softly downward, headed into the deep ocean where it could conserve its fuel, and use the power of the wind. In Ponyville, and aboard the ship, dreams of the days to come tore their way through the minds of the ponies.
To be continued.
Pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows,
Pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows,
Pink fluffy unicorns dancing on, dancing on rain!
~Songs to wear pants to.
Corsairs, Cannons, and Colts
Authored by Squall Chaser, (A.K.A Blunder Dolt)
Dawn had broken. The Countess Marilyn’s Revenge was bobbing slightly in the wavy ocean. The pinkish hues of morning light reflected in the water. Rainbow Dash was grateful that the sun had risen. She was floating next to the skeletal sea-serpent on the front of the ship. She’d pulled, chewed, punched, and otherwise maimed the rope around her waist, but it was to no avail. She and Fluttershy were now holding the evil-smelling polish rags. “At least it’ll be warmer soon,” Rainbow Dash said, as her teeth chattered.
Fluttershy merely nodded, she’d been whipped by the cruel boatswain. It’d forced her to become withdrawn, and closed wholly within herself. She probably wouldn’t speak again until she was back into the small, wet, cold, metal cage that they’d been kept in the night before. Fluttershy felt a hoof on her shoulder, she froze with fear. If it weren’t for the rope, she would’ve plummeted into the savage ocean below. Said rope was pulled back onto the ship, the boatswain stood behind her. “Yer bein’ excused, Firebran’ needs you in the galley, GET GOIN’!”
Fluttershy began to slowly walk away. A crack of a whip caused her to speed up. The boatswain was too busy laughing to notice Rainbow’s hoof collide with the back of his head. He was sent sprawling onto the deck, everyone witnessing began to roll with hysterics. The boatswain stood, he turned to face the sky-blue pegasus, “Why, you little…”
Before Rainbow Dash had a chance to think about her actions, a large hoof sent her head-over-tail into the rails of the ship. The massive boatswain approaching her, he drew his saber from its sheath.. A loud slam caused everyone on deck to look towards the captain’s chambers. Storm Grimskies stood in the doorway, her face formed into an eerie smile. “Now, now I wonder what all this is about. A slave pinned to the rails, my boatswain armed to the teeth.” She let out a hardy laugh as she thought about her statement “And all the while, no one informed me there was to be a fight. Didn’t any of you think I’d want to watch?” She walked over and sat down, “Twenty bits on the little, blue, filly.” She announced, laying a bag of money at her feet.
All across the boat bets were being made. Twilight walked out, the din of excitement had caused her to up-chuck. Looking for the source of the commotion, she saw the captain, and two pegasi locked in a deadly tussle for a saber. “Rainbow Dash!” Twilight shouted.
Dash paused to stare at Twilight, a horrible mistake. The boatswain wrestled the sword back into his control, sheathing it he began to pull back his hoof. Dash quickly moved upwards, the strong hoof-blow impacted against her leg, the twin sounds of bones breaking, and screams filled the air. She looped behind the brawny pirate, focusing all of her strength into one blow, she sent him through the rails of the ship. Moments later, a loud splash was heard. Rainbow sank back to the ground. She winced as her broken leg fell out from under her. “Twilight, are you okay?”
Before Twilight could answer, the sound of hooves clapping cut her off. “Well fought my little warrior pony, I think I could make a proper pirate of you yet!” Storm’s smile had only grown eerier. Crew members were now setting their lost bits before her.
The boatswain flew suddenly over the side of the ship, “Ah there you are three lashings to the filly for starting the fight. After that, you lost fair and square, try anything funny and I’ll skewer you myself.” The captain turned Twilight back into the cabin “Believe me. I don’t think you want to see this.” The doors closed.
Rainbow Dash was held on either side by two of the pirates. The boatswain started to bring the whip back, but the captain took it from him. She snapped her head forwards, then sharply back. The captain controlled the strength and direction of the lashes, she tried not to break skin, or hit Dash’s wings. After the third, she turned to the boatswain. A nod and the pirates dropped Dash, and seized him by the forehooves. A loud crack and the boatswain fell to the deck. “Because you didn’t invite me to the fight!” the captain said, as she spat out the whip.
The event over, Rainbow Dash was escorted to the brig on the captain’s behest. She was again thrown into the dark, little cell. A pony wearing eyeglasses came in and set her leg. After that, she didn’t have anything else to do, she lay down and tried to take a nap. After countless hours of peaceful, uninterrupted slumber, a loud slam woke her up. Firebrand stood in front of the cell, he took a small key from under his wing. The door of the cell clicked open, Firebrand slid in a tray of food, and the door shut again. The orange pegasus turned to leave, but Rainbow’s hoof on his flank stopped him. Sighing audibly, he turned to face those sad, magenta eyes. “I can’t let you out Dash.”
“Why not? It sounds as if ‘Stormy’ has already turned you from a stallion, into a gelding. What more do you have to lose?”
“Rainbow Dash you’d best keep your mouth shut on things you don’t understand.” Firebrand shouted as he punched the bars.
“I understand fine, YOU’RE A COWARD!”
“I… am… not…. A COWARD,” Firebrand screamed, he stormed up the stairwell onto the deck.
Rainbow Dash picked up a carrot from the tray. She clinched her teeth down and tore it in two. After a few bites, she threw the tray against the bars swearing profanely at it. Firebrand appeared at the top of the stairs. Dash threw her body against the cage, her forehooves reaching for her cousin, “Come to taddle on me, you traitor? Go ahead, tell your captain, I’d like just a few seconds alone with her anyway, just enough to smack her in the kisser.”
A rather shamed looking Firebrand walked over to the cage. “You’re right Dash, but we have to wait. If I let you go in broad daylight you might be shot instead of captured. I couldn’t take that, it’s far sadder than having you locked up down here.”
Rainbow Dash sat back on the floor, the pain of her leg suddenly apparent. Forcing herself, she stood back long enough to hug her cousin through the bars. “Thank you Firebrand, you don’t know how much it means to me that you’re letting my friends and…”
“Only you,” Firebrand said as he shook his head.
“WHAT?! You can’t expect me to just leave without them, they’re my friends!”
“You’ve got to use logic. One pony is far more likely to get past the guards. Most of your friends are unicorns and earth ponies. They’d have no way of getting back to shore before Storm sent them to the depths. Finally, what if the ship goes airborne tonight?”
Dash nodded weakly, “Yeah, you’re right, I’ll see you tonight then.”
Firebrand gave a tiny smile, “Oh man, Storm’s gonna hate this…” He laughed, although he and Dash both knew of the captain’s mental unbalance.
With a parting hug, he was gone. Dash sat in her cage, wondering what her friends were up to right now. Rarity was eating with Vinyl in the ships cannon bays. The two had become very close friends in the short time they’d known each other. “Darling, sure your look is splendid now, but just let me have a few seconds with your mane, a little work on your attire, and the colts wouldn’t be able to resist you!”
Vinyl nearly spat out the water she’d been drinking, “Yeah, colts…. I can hardly wait…” She barely held back a giggle.
“Oh my, I’m terribly sorry if I’ve offended you in anyway.”
“No, no. It’s okay Rare, not necessarily the type of thing you broadcast with a mega-phone. It’s no big deal.”
“Either way, you really should come by my boutique sometime; I’ll have you looking like a million-bit coin!”
The two unicorns finished their lunches, and began setting back to work. “I don’t really know why we need to clean these horrible things, but at least that beastly boatswain isn’t down here.” Rarity rubbed the back of her head. A small knot had formed where she’d been struck.
“Yeah, tell me about it, I got a good lashing because I had the nerve to laugh in the captain’s presence.”
The two unicorns both giggled. They paused for a second, each staring at the other. Rarity cleared her throat “Right, we shouldn’t dally. Let’s get this done so we can get out of this bay before I can’t get the scent of gunpowder out of my beautiful coiffure.” The unicorns continued to work, all the while giggling and gossiping like two school-fillies.
Pinkie Pie and Applejack were swabbing the deck, again! “Consarnit, why in the hay do these here pirates make us clean the deck, and then immediately scuff it all up again! It’s like they want to work us to death or somethin’!” Applejack’s mood was growing sourer with each passing minute.
“Why, tha’s exactly the point lassie! We’re goin’ ta work the life right on outta ya!” A purple earth pony taunted.
“How’d ya like me to come over there, an’ buck ya a new one?
The pirate merely laughed, he spat on the deck in front of AJ. Pinkie Pie, whose hair, was still deflated, murmured, “Why does everyone here have to be such a meanie-mean-pants?”
“Well, I ‘spose this just proves the worlds not all, Cupcakes an’ apples like we thought it was.”
Pinkie could only sigh. Both ponies paused to watch the sun going down, “Look at the bright side. It’s quittin’ time.” Applejack smiled, she put a caring hoof on the party pony’s shoulder.
Pinkie shrugged it off, “yeah, but that only means we go back to that cage.” Applejack couldn’t argue that point. There really wasn’t anything to be cheerful about.
Fluttershy was waiting for her friends. She’d already been placed in a cage. Upon their arrival, she looked around “Where’s Rainbow Dash?”
Applejack shook her head, “Dunno sugar-cube, last time I saw her she’s tusslin’ with that big, brown feller.”
Vinyl’s head drooped a little, “knowing how psycho he and his captain are, she’s probably being tortured or something.”
All five ponies sat with their heads hung low. Fluttershy started into a song she thought appropriate, Oh Pony Boy. Little did they know their friend, was quite alive. It was approaching the hour of midnight, the shanties had once again become quieter, and somewhere above deck an accordion could be heard. Most of the crew was either asleep, or catching a late-night card game in the lower decks. Rainbow Dash stood by the cage door, she’d been stretching her wings all night, preparing them for the flight ahead. The door to the deck opened. The guard pony tumbled down the stairs. Firebrand appeared at the top of the stairs with a rolling-pin in his mouth. He tip-hooved quietly over to the cage, as he was withdrawing the small key. There was a faint click, and the door swung open.
Dash stepped out, her wings spread to fullest expanse. Firebrand motioned to follow quietly, the two of them crept up the stairs. Firebrand led her over to the hole from earlier. “Your best bet of being undetected is diving down the side of the ship, just pull up before you hit the ocean.”
She hugged her cousin tightly, “I’ll come back for you Brand.”
She let go, falling backwards over the rails. Firebrand watched her silhouette turn and shoot into the sky. He turned, and bashed his head against a knob on the rails. Wobbling a little he began to call out, “alarm! Alarm! One of those land-lubbers has escaped! Somepony rouse the captain!”
In a flash the ship was teaming with life, from all decks of the ship ponies ran to gather around Firebrand. He pointed down the stairs, “Look, she knocked ole Flashpowder unconscious.” He pointed to the bruise he’d given himself, “crazy filly knocked me out too! I wasn’t doing anything but bringing some refreshments to the games.” He hoped his excuse would be believable enough.
The gray pony at the bottom of the stairs moaned “Why’d ya go an; conk me coconut Firebrand? I ain’t done nothin’ to you!”
“Why would I knock you out Flash? I tell you it was that crazy filly that did it!”
“No, it was you. You told me you had water for the prisoners. I turn aroun’ to open the door, and CONK! Everything goes black.”
“Well Firebrand, it looks as if we’ve got a traitor on board. It’s a shame too after all I’ve given you. A place to live, food, money all the things you could want or need.” Storm’s voice was a mixture of anger, hurt, and evil “And you repay me, with a knife in my back. Oh, Firebrand, I must admit I’ll mourn you when you’re gone. What should we do with him lads?”
The crew set up a noisy chant, “Keelhaul, keelhaul, keelhaul, keelhaul!”
“Very well, at dawn, Firebrand shall get to see a new side of the Countess Marilyn’s Revenge.” She put her face right against his, “the underside.”
Rainbow Dash was flying fast, faster than she’d ever flown before. She’d broken the sound barrier, and was speeding along over the rippling ocean. She looked back over her shoulder, seeing the ship fading slowly in the distance. “Come on wings, don’t fail me now!” She shouted over the wind speeding past her ears. Before she could stop herself, a large net was pulled in her path. She struggled and kicked, unable to get free. Hope’s brief candle now grew cold and dark. Her mood grew sullen and somber when she saw Firebrand in the cage. He’d been beaten quite violently. All across his body were dark bruises and lash marks. He lay; breathing in short, pained breaths. “It didn’t work, they caught me.” She cried as she lay next to him.
His eyes shot open, he whirled to look at her. “No, no this has to be a nightmare!”
“It’s not, I checked, but hey at least we’re back together again!” She beamed at her cousin. Then it hit her, why was he in the cage and not in the galley?
“Not for long Dash, not for long. Tomorrow, they’re going to tie a rope around me, and keelhaul me.”
“Exactly what it sounds like, they’ll haul me along the bottom, or keel, of the ship. It’s not going to be pleasant. If they do it quickly, I’ll be cut on the barnacles and other sea life on the bottom of the ship, if they do it slow I could drown.”
Dash’s eyes filled with tears, “it’s all, my fault! Firebrand, I shouldn’t have pushed you to do it.”
“Hey don’t do that, the last thing I want you doing, is blaming yourself for this.”
Dash nuzzled her cousin gently, “I’ll stay up with you!” she said.
“No, you sleep. I don’t want you to be there, I don’t want you to see me afterwards, I don’t want…” he sobbed. “I don’t want you to remember me like that.”
Dash snuggled closer to her cousin, “Okay Firebrand, I’ll try and sleep.”
The hours passed like centuries, the only sound in cell was Firebrand’s occasional cries and whimpers. Dash had managed to fall asleep. Her body had pretty much forced her to. The door to the upper deck opened, Storm walked down the stairs. She opened the lock. Tears were streaming openly down her face, now that they were alone. Firebrand kissed Dash’s head. He stood and walked onto the deck. He paused for a moment to enjoy, for the last time, the feeling and beauty of a midsummer morning.
For those of you who’ve continued down this far, I plan on bringing the Ponyville, and Pirate Ship stories together, in chapter five. Also, the interaction above with Rarity, was setting up for a sequel story. Other than that, I’m off for a bit to enjoy Litha, or Midsummer.
Interestingly, the name Blunder Dolt is kind of a funny story.
One of my uncles on my mom’s side had a pony named, Thunderbolt, the Wonder Colt. My mom’s older brother called him, Blunderdolt the Dundercolt. I’ve had this name for a while, in other online mediums. But only now is the pony story really relevant.
Your Humble Author
I hope you enjoy the next few chapters. This is my first attempt at writing Pony-fic, and it went Grim-dark when I didn’t mean for it too. I also really wish I had an editor...
Corsairs, Cannons, and Colts part 4
Author: Squall Chaser (A.K.A Blunder Dolt)
The deed was fast approaching the end, Firebrand had been tied up with two ropes and the pirates had lifted him. Despite all attempts to be brave, Firebrand began to sob weakly. Storm sat on the deck. She fought back tears, her psychopathic and chaotic emotions turning to legitimate sadness. “Firebrand, I hereby declare you guilty of mutiny and an attack on your fellow crew members. For these crimes you are to be keelhauled. Do you have any last statements?”
“Yes, don’t let Dash see.” Firebrand said as he looked away from Storm’s eyes.
Storm nodded “Boatswain, bar the door. The rainbow maned one shall not see this.”
Everypony in the crew was on deck, as well as Twilight. Each of them waited with baited breath, for the moment they knew was coming. Storm waved her hoof “Very well, that taken care of, to the depths with him.”
Two pegasus pirates lifted Firebrand over the aft of the ship. Two unicorns in the bow began to pull the rope with their magic. The rope hissed as it flew over the railing. It wasn’t long, perhaps a couple of minutes, before Firebrand flew onto the bow spitting water. He’d been cut badly. He screamed with pain and pleaded for them to stop as they lay him on the deck. Maniacal laughter filled the air as they tossed him back over the bow. Two unicorns in the aft began pulling the rope on the other side, this time the rope came up frazzled and empty. The two unicorns stared at each other and shrugged, showing the frayed rope to the crew with a cheer. The spectacle over, the pirates returned to their assigned place on the ship. Twilight, with tears in her eyes, walked over to Storm “Please, Captain Grimskies, let me be the one to tell Dash, I don’t want her to hear it from a member of your crew.”
Storm nodded and ran to her cabin. She slammed the door, walking over to the bed she threw herself down. Tears flowed freely. She had just thrown one of her best friends in the entire world to his death. “Oh Firebrand, why did you have to do it, why did you betray me,” Storm sobbed into her pillow.
In her sadness, she’d forgotten all about the kid-napped dragon. Spike, even though he knew she was a nut-job, couldn’t stand to see anypony cry. Spike reached out a claw and gently patted her back. The look of surprise on his face couldn’t be described. Storm grabbed him like a Teddy-bear and began to hug him. “Aw, the coot widdle baby dwagon wants to cheer me up.” She cooed as she kissed him on the back of the head.
“Hey, just because I don’t like to hear ponies crying, doesn’t mean I like you!”
“Oh, he even has a sense of humor!” Storm said as she pulled him closer, “But, you’re still no Firebrand.” Spike began to get the feeling that he was going to learn more about the looney-toon than he’d ever wanted to know.
Twilight had stepped into the dark, foul-smelling, cold little dungeon. She walked to the cage holding Rainbow Dash. The blue pegasus was still asleep, on her face a little smile. In her sleep she called something out “One more time Firebrand, show me that trick again!”
Twilight’s heart began to sink, she didn’t want to wake her friend from her happy dreams, and bring her to the reality where her cousin was gone. She nuzzled Dash, “Dash. Dash wake up.”
“Huh, what’s up, who woke me up? Twilight!”
“Yes Dash, I’ve got some…”
Realization struck Dash like a Ditzy-borne anvil. Firebrand wasn’t in the cage anymore, and Twilight was here when she hadn’t seen her for the past two days. “He’s gone!” She sobbed, burying her face in her hooves.
“I’m…. I’m so sorry…” Twilight said, lying down next to her friend.
“I shouldn’t have called him a gelding! I definitely shouldn’t have called him a coward!” Dash said.
“Oh, Dash no. Don’t do that.” Twilight said while patting her back. “It wasn’t your fault.”
“How can you say that? You weren’t here. You don’t know that for sure!”
Twilight paused, tears running down her face now. “No Dash, I wasn’t. The captain’s been, well, kindly holding me prisoner… Dash, I wanted to be here for you. That’s why I didn’t let a crew member tell you.”
Dash blinked tears from her eyes, “Yeah, I know. It’s just that… He died for me… You have no idea how guilty I feel right now.” She looked at Twilight, “I… I want to be alone.”
Twilight nodded, “Okay Dash, I’ll stop by later to check on you.”
Dash nodded, and Twilight went back above deck. The rainbow maned pony curled up into a ball, left once again alone with her feelings of guilt, sadness, and nauseating hatred. Hatred of the murderous captain and her crew of pirates, “Storm will pay,” Dash swore to herself.
Twilight opened the door to the cabin. She stopped from shear shock of what she’d found. The pirate curled in bed, holding a protesting Spike in her hooves. He cast a pleading look at Twilight, silently begging her to free him somehow. The lavender unicorn stepped over to the captain, “Why did you do it?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Why did you do it, if you were going to feel so guilty about it? I don’t even believe you’re crying real tears over it.”
“Of course I am, Firebrand was my best friend. I didn’t want to…” She wailed once more, squeezing the breath out of Spike “He… He made me! He stabbed me in the back!”
“He begged you to stop!”
Storm sat bolt-upright, sending Spike toppling into her pillows, her green eyes glowing with rage. “Yes, but I couldn’t! What message would that have sent to my crew! ‘Walk all over good ole’ Captain Storm, she’s too kind to punish us!’”
“I AM NOT INSANE!” Her face came so close to Twilight’s you wouldn’t have been able to fit a piece of paper between them. “Do you understand me?”
Twilight panicked, the rabid captain was nopony to toy with. She tried to speak, but her voice hid from the boiling pirate captain. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to take care of some business.” The captain slammed the door on her way out.
Twilight sat on the bed, she’d been feeling much better but now her head was aching again. She looked at Spike, “She’s crazy, I don’t get how anypony could be that unbalanced.”
“I don’t know, I just hope our friends are okay.”
For the most part, they were. Fluttershy was now alone on the polish team, flying suspended from the rope, with the evil smelling concoction on a rag in her hoof. She kept quiet, not wanting to invoke the boatswain’s wrath. The, afore mentioned, bully approached her. He put his hoof on her shoulder. “The lads an’ I heard you singin’ last night. We figure, when you’re done here, you might be able to sing us a little song.”
Fluttershy deliberately slowed her work. The boatswain cracked the whip over her head. Even though she was unwilling, she sped her work up once more. Being finished, she was hauled into a part of the ship she’d never seen before. Larger than the dining area, filled with stacked crates, ill-gotten gain, and the occasional card table five ponies sat in a corner of the room. One of them held an accordion, one held a harmonica, and a third held a guitar. The boatswain pushed her into the center and joined the five in a half circle. “Here’s the song we be wanting you to sing! Ya think yer up to it?”
Fluttershy looked at the song, immediately she felt disgusted “Oh my, it… it’s awfully… Well, it’s VULGAR!”
“I know love, that’s why we be wanting you to sing it,” The accordion pirate dead-panned.
“Yeah, we like dirty songs,” A second pirate joined.
The boatswain stood, grabbing the whip in his mouth. Fluttershy started into the song, every time she tried to censor the song, the whip cracked the air by her. Louder, and louder she was forced to sing. The pirates laughed and whooped as the yellow pegasus finished the lewd limerick. The pirates passed her another song, and Fluttershy began to cry. The pirates responded with ‘awes,’ laughs, and kissy faces.
Rarity and Vinyl weren’t having a lot of luck. The two had been forced to take over the galley. They were constantly under the watch of a blue unicorn, the same one from the library attack. Rarity was currently mixing a large bowl of, for want of a better name, oat meal. The gray, runny, and probably ruined mix had splattered everywhere. Rarity’s once beautiful mane now attempting to be everywhere at once, “Vinyl, would you be a dear and hand me that corn-starch… You are supposed to use that to thicken things right?”
Vinyl couldn’t suppress a giggle “Corn-starch, in oatmeal? You’ve obviously not cooked very much have you?”
“Living by myself, I ate a lot of take-out.”
The unicorn watching the door drew his saber with magic, “Hey you two! Am I going to have to MAKE you be quiet? Because I can, this saber’s awfully sharp, and I’d hate to see a scar on one of those pretty faces. Now please, get back to work.”
Rarity noticed a slight bit of hesitation in his voice, “You don’t really want to hurt us do you?”
The unicorn was taken aback “What’re you going off about? I said, be quiet!”
Rarity batted her eye-lashes, “I think, you don’t want to hurt us. I think…”
Her thoughts were cut short. The flat of the saber slapped her flank, “I don’t care what you think, I SAID BE QUIET!” the pirate bellowed.
Vinyl put her hoof over Rarity’s mouth, “Okay dude chill out.” A brief sparkle traveled from the DJ’s horn to Rarity’s mouth.
Rarity started to protest, but she found the volume of her voice lowered. Even when shouting, it barely came out as a whisper. Vinyl was truly talented with sounds. This had just saved her and her best friend from farther harm or disciplinary measures.
Applejack and Pinkie had been placed on the fueling team. The two were loaded with barrels of the strange black stones that kept the engines flying. They carried them up from one of the lowest parts of the ship, to the upper most deck of the ship. Pinkie tripped on one of the staircases back to the upper deck. The coal spilled everywhere. The pink pony was blackened by the coal dust. She let out a crazed giggle. Pinkie Pie had reverted back to Pinkamina Diane Pie, in fact she’d occasionally act as if she was still on the family rock farm. “Sug, you all right, you seem to be a few apples short of the harvest.”
The pink pony shrugged, “I’m fine ma, no need to worry. I’ll have these rocks rotated before supper.”
Applejack shook her head, “I ain’t your mama, Pinkie do you even know where you are right now?”
The pink pony sat on the floor, she started to pick the coal up and place it back into her buckets “I know I don’t like it,” Pinkie said as she dusted herself off.
“Oh sug, let me help,” Applejack bent down to pick up some of the coal.
“Nah, you go on, pa’s waiting on you.”
“Let’s get this straight. I… Am… Helping… You,” Applejack said, stamping the stair to emphasize each word.
The two finished relatively fast, bringing the last load of coal up to the large engine. A call was heard from the helm of the ship “Right mates, on Captain’s orders we’re going up! Everypony to their stations, and get those prisoners back into their cages. We don’t want them joining Firebrand,” Shang the helm’s pony bellowed.
The friends were escorted to their cage, still devoid of Rainbow Dash. The only pony who had actually seen her since Firebrand’s execution was Twilight, the others could only hear the faint sobs and murmurs from somewhere in the darkness. They’d tried calling out, but no answer came. They heard the door to the main deck open and shut. The captain walked down the stairs, she turned and stared into the darkness of Dash’s cage. She put her hooves through the bar, “Are you in there?”
Rainbow Dash went rigid instantly, the pony she hated most in all the world was within striking range. Dash stood “Where ELSE would I be?” She mocked.
“I just wanted to say, I’m sorry.”
“For what, what in the world could you possibly be sorry for?” Dash still hadn’t moved, waiting for what was inevitable.
“I’m sorry, about Firebrand.”
Dash bolted to the cage door, her hoof catching storm between the eyes, “DON’T YOU DARE! You aren’t even fit to talk about him!” Dash yelled.
Storm Grimskies stood face-to-face with Dash. Tears flowed down her face as she did something unexpected. Instead of hitting Dash, she grabbed her face and kissed it through the bars. Dash squirmed, once she’d broken free she spat on the ground. “What the hay? What is wrong with you? You’re nuts! Get away from me!”
Dash threw another punch, this time she missed. This time Storm punched back, “I loved Firebrand, and I’ve got news for you filly! HE LOVED ME TOO!” She shouted. The steadily unwinding captain left. The door opened for just a second longer, “I… AM… NOT… A NUT!” Storm shouted.
Rainbow had mixed emotions on this, confusion, sad that her cousin had fallen in love with a mad-mare, and finally loathing a pure unfiltered desire to see the captain fall. “I’ll get you Storm, just wait. Then you’ll pay for what you did to my cousin.”
Her thoughts suddenly turned to Ponyville, her home, what would she tell her family? How would they take it? Most importantly, was someone going to come for them?
The sun was still rising when all of the ‘troops’ filed out. Even after training for only a few days, they’d improved greatly. Squall Chaser’s confidence in the small group improved significantly. “Alright team, we’re going on another run through the park! This time, we’re going all the way to Froggy Bottom Bog! Those of you, who think they can’t do it, step forward now.”
Nopony stepped forward. Blunder Dolt took over for his brother, “I want all the pegasi to come with me. We’re going to need two things to catch these pirates, a crew, and a ship!”
“What does that have to do with us?” A voice sounded from the crowd.
“We’ll need to pick up some carriages from Canterlot, Celestia’s granted us use of one for each pegasus here. After we acquire them, we’ll use them to ferry people to the ocean front.”
The pegasi while confused decided to follow with no further questions. The earth ponies and unicorns started their run under the direction of Squall Chaser. The sound of thundering hooves could be heard for miles around. Squall Chaser was driving them hard. The black pegasus’s unrelenting training methods had worked, each of the ponies in sight had now become skilled in combat maneuvers, sword play, and even cannon working. So far, they’d progressed much faster than he’d predicted, now they were ready for the fight of their lives. “Huh, I guess as it turns out, love’s a pretty strong motivator. I mean after all everypony here’s got someone their fighting for.” He thought to himself as he fell behind the stampeding crowd.
They reached Froggy Bottom Bog in record time, Squall Chaser stood proudly at the center of the panting ponies, “You did well! Now cannon team report to your stations, sword play group pair up and practice, once the pegasi get back we’re moving out in pursuit of those kidnappers, WHO’S WITH ME!?”
The crowd cheered so loud that they didn’t hear the approach of another pony. The white unicorn with a caduceus-over-red heart cutie-mark stepped up to Squall Chaser. The pegasus put his hoof on the unicorn’s shoulder, “I thought I was the last one, how long ago did you fall behind?”
The doctor pony, who was still a little out of breath, responded thus “I’m not part of your militia, sad to say I’m here on hospital business.”
Squall Chaser’s smile vanished, “What is it Doctor Allbetter?”
“It would be best if you were sitting,” Squall chaser immediately parked his flank, “Squall, I hate to tell you this, but Hay Bailer passed this morning. We tried all we could but nothing worked, I’m sorry.”
The black pegasus felt like a brick had smashed against his chest. “Oh no, what am I going to tell Sunder? He’s going to be heartbroken.” Squall Chaser stood again, “Thank you Doc, I’ll tell my brother when he gets back from his mission.”
Doctor Allbetter started to say something, but a scroll materialized from his horn “Sorry, medical emergency, I’ve got to go. Please, be gentle when you break it to Sunder Bolt,” with that, he teleported away.
It was a few hours before the carriage team returned, each pegasus saddled with one of the glorious carriages, with the exception of Ditzy whom Blunder Dolt didn’t trust towing one. There were also four new faces in the crowd, each pegasus dressed in their splendid blue and yellow flight suits, The Wonderbolts had come to lend their aid to the fight. Squall Chaser flew up, and pulled his brother in closely, so he may whisper into his ear. Blunder Dolt sank to the ground, an unusual rage building up in his normally carefree eyes.
“Oh… It… Is… On… RUN COWARDS, BLUNDER DOLT IS COMING!”
With that, the teams made ready for the battle to come. It wasn’t long after sunset that they came to the harbor. Luna’s Grace, was waiting for them, a proud battle ship, the fastest in the fleet, if any ship could catch the flying boat, this one could. With everything loaded, all the heads counted, and the ship’s crew ready the ship pulled out of the harbor. That night, Blunder Dolt dreamt of Corsairs, Cannon fire, and fillies and colts fighting hoof-and-mouth to eradicate the pirates once and for all.
This chapter, I’m including more text at the bottom. Mainly because I want to see if anyone really pays attention to these. Also, minor spoiler!
The salty, blue waves crashed upon the shore. Firebrand stirred, the salt water in his wounds stung a lot. He rose, staring around his current place of residence. “Hello! IS ANYPONY OUT THERE?”
No answer. He sat on the beach attempting to remember how he got there. All that came back was attempting to rescue Dash, being drug under the ship, laying on the deck like a dying carp, falling back towards the water, and then. Well he wasn’t quite sure, it was like a black wave hit him, carrying him through a loud, bright tunnel, and depositing him here wherever here was. “Am I dead? I don’t want to be dead… I want to be alive… or a Cow-pony…” He must’ve hit his head somewhere on the way down…
Off in the distance, he saw a building, there was nopony nearby it. He ran towards it, seeing this as his only hope for savior on this desolate rock. Heading towards the building, he found that it was deserted, but there was a radio lying in the sand nearby. He clicked it on finding only one program tuning in clearly, Lyra and Octavia, on the topic of Classical Music. The orange pegasus merely sat, “Who left that here?” He thought to himself. A stirring in the woods nearby caused him to flee.
And so, my enthusiastic little admires. Yes, even you neigh-sayers. The stage is set, all the pieces falling into place, each side ready at a moment’s notice. All the puppet master has to do, is tug the strings and the battle begins.