Taking a break to post some ponies: Star Scion

The Prince’s ship was the Scion. It was the ship of his father, and his father’s, and so on and so on. It was a Star Destroyer, of course. Triangular and quite impressive, it was decidedly powerful and, more importantly, a symbol. Like the mighty castles of old the presence of a Star Destroyer meant that the Empire of Man OWNED this space, previously living species be damned.

Back in the year 2XXX when the Empire of Man voted on what theme their ships should be designed around, Star Wars won and many ships were created from the inspiration of the series. Second place was Star Trek, and many ships in the middle and personal transport classes often modeled themselves after the popular series. Other ships, like the ‘Independent Carrier’ class ships were modeled after Space, Above and Beyond’s rectangular USS Saratoga. Colony ships and colony stations drew heavy inspiration from the Gundam and Macross series. No matter the ship, no matter the inspiration, nothing compared to the Star Destroyer.

The ship was designed for two things, intimidation and mobile fortress. A Star Destroyer orbiting a planet could be seen with the naked eye, even in the day and was brighter than almost any star. A Star Destroyer held the necessary armies for a substantial invasion, with equipment for any weather. They could strike the angels dancing on the head of a pin with any of the guns. They could disgorge a full fourteen squadrons of fighters from it’s belly and take them all back in within a quarter an hour. Their only drawback was the massive expense.

The Scion was no exception. Twilight Sparkle and her friends crowded around the window, watching the mammoth ship come closer. It had hid itself behind the Moon, referred to in human star charts as ‘Lunar Equestria’. The sun was to the side, giving them an awesome look at it. While at a distance it looked smooth, it’s skin was knobby and quite rumbled, full of the actual machinery, barracks, turrets, censors, shield protrusions and a thousand other things needed to make the Star Destroyer Function. Twilight was ashamed to say that Rainbow Dash could name more of the turrets and other things than she could.

“And that’s what they call a ‘Big Bertha’! Fires GIGANTIC several ton Kinetic rounds, mostly at other capital ships or when it’s sieging something.” Twilight hoped that she understood the concept of kinetic rounds, being a flyer and all. She doubted it. “That’s a ‘Tommy Gun’ they use it to destroy mines or other small stuff. Shoots faster than me! And that’s saying something. That’s…”

“STOOOPPP!!!” Fluttershy had collapsed. “Please stop! It’s all killing stuff and I don’t like it! I don’t like it!” She was bawling while using her hooves to cover her eyes. Rarity began to comfort her.

“Please, dear, calm down. Rainbow Dash is just as nervous as you are, it’s just she hides it better. We all are.”

“I am not!” The voice cracked a little.

Rarity withered her in a single look. She stroked Fluttershy’s mane until the timid pegasus returned from her hairy retreat. “We know that they’re killing machines. But, they won’t attack us, darling. They are our friends, and our job is to make sure they stay that way. Honestly, dear, they are just a more violent version of us when you boil it down. They love and they laugh like we do. They also have a passion for fashion…” Rarity could tell it was a no sell, so she changed tactics. “And you’ve read how they’ve tried to preserve the animals on their planet. You’ve even consulted with the zoo they opened in Equestria!”

Fluttershy perked up at the mention of animals and soon was standing, albeit much hunched over, not daring to look outside to the warship. Rarity stayed next to her, trying to cheer her up. “Now we’ve got to look our best, darling.” She began to brush Fluttershy’s mane.

“Five minutes until docking procedures!” Fluttershy couldn’t take any more and slipped under a series of chairs for those who did not want to stand. “That’s it! I’m not coming out!”

Five minutes later she was being dragged, telekinetically, by Twilight Sparkle. Her hair was looking frazzled and the twitch in her eye discouraged any complaints. They had learned long ago that it just wasn’t worth it. Fluttershy eventually gave up after she gave her a picture of Angel she conjured from the aetherd. Twilight stared at them all. She nodded once, then hit the latch that released the thin sheet of metal that separated them from the Scion.

The hallways were stark even after the decontamination precess ended. They were led by a liveried non-commissioned officer who was impeccably polite. They didn’t see many guards, and Rainbow Dash wondered where everyone was, especially the star-fighter pilots.

“Most of them are ensuring their ships are in excellent condition. Also, who would be stupid enough to assault the Empire of Man in one of their greatest bastions? We’re in friendly territory anyway, even the student of the Princess Celestia isn’t a true threat to such power. It’s power that you can’t buy or learn, it’s the power of generations working together, as one, towards on great goal.” There was a little psychotic twitch in his voice when he spoke. He was one of those fanatics, but thankfully controlled in his manner. The six and Spike hoped he wouldn’t go on about it. He didn’t.

What stopped their misery was their arrival at the bridge. This was one of several, and marked in a royal red and gold markings. The NCO palmed the door’s panel and let them in. He bowed deeply and departed. A voice rang out. “Announcing the Princess’s Personal Student, Twilight Sparkle. Rarity, noted Fashion designer. Rainbow Dash, noted Athlete. Fluttershy, Animal Lover. Applejack, noted Farmer of the Apple Family. Pinkie Pie, Caterer and Partier extraordinaire. Spike, a… dragon?”

Rarity struck out with the poise expected of a lady. Rainbow Dash embarrassingly strutted out; the attention was a bit much, even for her. Fluttershy was propelled forward by a burst of magic. Applejack did a curtsey then merely walked forward. Spike took position behind Twilight, waiting for her to advance.  She did a second later, trying to figure out where it would be best to give the five page speech she had prepared. Pinkie Pie giggled and pranced forward, throwing out “Glad to be on your ship of death” cards to anyone she saw. They sang and shot out confetti.

The Bridge was designed for upper management to rule over the lesser space-sailors. The seven entered into the upper level, a long series of walkways with several spots for larger gatherings of officers. They walked onto the largest of these islands. It was over one hundred meters wide and seventy long. It held many closed doorways to other parts of the ship. The color scheme was nearly fifty shades of grey- NO BAD TWILIGHT- several different greys, blacks and darker navy blues.

The room was surrounded by windows staring out into all the Empire of Man owned. It was not true windows, but rather super high-def video screens designed for heavy battles. In actuality the iconic command deck sticking up from the body was for show, interdiction and shields. Even then the shielding technology had so many redundancies that even dismantling a Star Destroyer meant long work ensuring that a thousand self-defense mechanisms were turned of AND disconnected from power.

The real bridge is located in the main body, around -redacted- and quite heavily armored, which is a redundant statement. Inside it, over two hundred could comfortably be useful and do their jobs. More could, in an emergency, take refuge inside. The Prince/Admiral’s chair was the geographical center and the center of operations at the same time. There were massive holographic displays that could be called upon in a second. Whenever the highest rank on the ship was not in the chair, a holographic display on the current star charts and positions of other ships in the system.

The seven Equestrians found themselves in the middle of throng of officers and VIPs. The Prince, far too important to look at them, had his back to their entrance. Beside him was the Grand Admiral Had Tib, who looked actually interested in what was happening. Everyone else, bridge crew, officers from various fighter, soldier and cafeteria squads looked like they’d rather do their jobs. Twilight coughed once. Had Tib nodded in support.

Twilight summoned her speech notes and began to intone. “In the place of Princess Celestia, I would like to thank you for allowing us to go to the homeworld of the humans and to meet, in person, the Emperor of all Mankind -may he live forever- and request an unprecedented colony world for Pony-kind. I would also like to thank you for your patience with us, especially Baron Tewkesbury and his family who will be the main funders and colonizers of the expedition.

“I believe that this will be a learning for all species as we advance culturally and economically, hand in forehoof! Together, we can enjoy prosperity working together towards a brighter future and a-” Applejack ripped the notes out of Twilight’s magic grasp and ate them.

“Sorry, Twi, but that’s enough of that! We’re mighty glad to be here, but Ah get the feelin’ that we’re in the way. If ya’ll show us the quarters you’re puttin’ us in, we’ll be out of the way.” She slid her stetson down over her eyes to hide the trepidation she felt. The unemotional faces in front of her were more intimidating than meeting the Princess, at least she smiled warmly. The Prince had turned around to face the arrivals as soon as he heard the munching sounds.

Everyone was in a state of dulled shock. They had expected some sort of pompous speech, but to be interrupted. They didn’t know how to react. Then the Prince laughed. They had expected some sort of hissing laugh, something reserved. No one outside the family and Had Tib had ever heard him laugh. It was a belly laugh, a joyful thing that belied his grim demeanor. He gasped and declared. “She ate her words!”

Pinkie Pie began giggling her bubbly laugh and stated that it was prime funny! Spike snorted a little fire out of his nose. Had Tib grinned widely, despite being a clone, he was never one to laugh. A NCO with an apron chortled into his hand. Then other officers expressed humor. Some of them were just laughing to go along with the Prince and suck up to him.

Had Tib spoke out. “Don’t worry! This isn’t as bad as the Hozen dignitary. He farts when he speaks, enough said.” Spike laughed loudest this time. “We’re already getting your things into the appropriate rooms. Come along, I’ll show you the secret to our hyperdrive technologies.” He waved them into one of the doors. It said ‘Star Folding chamber.’

The inside was totally dark, until Rainbow Dash, far too eager to be polite, entered the room first. The lights burst on, and illuminated this holy of holies of humanity. She immediately backed into Grand Admiral Had Tib. “That’s… They’re!”

The two of them stared at the secret of humanity’s unique faster than light travel. Three humans of indistinguishable gender were ensconced in three wells. They were obese and seemed to grow into their stations. Eldritch tentacles of black wire were plugged into nearly every possible inch of flesh. They hummed to each other, as if communicating. However, they were otherwise silent and unmoving. The real action was happening behind them.

Holographs were everywhere. They displayed everything from stars to planets to ships to seemingly blank portions of space. Each displayed a different image and each seemed to have a different purpose. Some also displayed extremely complex mathematical concepts. Some displayed just long lists of names and numbers, distanced in space that seemed abstract, even to the navigation-ally proficient Rainbow Dash.

“Alive? Yes.” A figure left her perch, unseen among the holographs. “They’re savants. After the nuke wars, so many humans displayed genetic anomalies that eventually several… beneficial ones showed up.” The human, if she could still be called that, was normal but for three things, completely black eyes, her wings, beautiful butterfly wings, and antennae that twitched independently of one another. “They bred us because of our usefulness. Cruel? Oh yes. But the perks.” She spread her wings and gestured. The holographs dispersed and changed to show a series of planets.

Rainbow Dash, driven back by the disgusting worm-likes in the pits, was drawn to the person with the magnificent butterfly wings. “Your wings are AWESOME! My name is Rainbow Dash, what’s yours? Can you fly on them? How fast can you go? Lets fly together sometime! That would be so cool!”

“My name’s Farasha. That’s butterfly.” She was actually a distance away. She moved slowly for such a long legged creature. She was wrapped in a series of light dresses and wraps in pastels, allowing for great freedom in movement. “I’m afraid I can’t really fly properly. I can fan people when the air conditioning isn’t working, but not much else.” She was easily twelve feet tall and had to bend down to look Rainbow Dash in the eye. Rainbow Dash had to admit, she was not expecting to see anything like this.

“So why are you four the secret to the fastest ships in the universe?” Her mind returned to her main drive.

“Watch this, dear pony.” The olive colored mutant turned to her charges. “Let’s get to work gentlemen.” Classical music began playing and the holographs began to change. Twilight Sparkle twisted herself in to look in on the rite.

“Humanity’s mutations were, 99/100 times, bad and terrible. So many suffered. You may not believe it, but even we mourn our dead. The radiation killed so many, but after generations, something came out. Some were given great and terrible powers. I was given two gifts from my parents: my insectoid appearance and height and a minor telepathic power. I can direct these savants. There are quite a few of me and them, but I can claim being an original model, if you understand. Watch.”

The holographic displays morphed into a gigantic 3D model of a series of stars and constellations. “This is your beautiful planet, Equestria.” She gestured to a star. “The star orbits the planet itself, no doubt due to the magical power of your princesses.” She gestured to a blank space. “It’s a pity that we cannot go directly, I’d really show you some speed, dear Rainbow Dash, but we must make some stops.” She stopped talking and began humming.

“So… You point and we go there?”

Farasha smiled. “Yes, that is correct. These three have massive powers of computation. They are able to manage everything that goes on in the system, from the speeds, distances to the most miniscule power level. We could do it without them, but it would…”

“Be like blindfolding yourself and doing a sonic rainboom?”

“Exactly. I’ve actually seen tapes of your feat. It was… very awesome.” Rainbow Dash flew up giggling at the compliment. “All that power and without three very intelligent retards and a gal like me it goes to waste.” Farasha called up another hologram. This one had a giant, rainbow colored button. “I actually requested to see you. How would you like to send us to the depths of the galaxy?”

Rainbow Dash couldn’t contain herself. “WOULD I?” She jumped forward into the button. It dispersed into a million lines of rainbow colors. They disappeared soon and Rainbow Dash was left fluttering in the middle of a blank center of the room. “What’s next?”

“This jump won’t give us much to look at by the way of spectacle. It’ll only be a few seconds. The next one, though, we’ll watch together at a observation point.” She held a hand out to Rainbow Dash, who stuck her hoof in and began to shake.

“It’s a promise!”