My Little Destiny: Chapter Seven – I Never Had to Clop on Wood

4 09 2012

The Destiny legs it and Twilight makes a new enemy as the Cutie Mark Crusaders find themselves in a major crisis.




Destiny’s bridge was quiet as the ship flew through the corona of a red dwarf star. There wasn’t much to do since Destiny’s autopilot directed the refueling process. So Volker used this opportunity to rest his eyes.

Slowly flying over the photosphere the ship deployed its solar collectors and dropped into the star.

It was at this moment, that Destiny’s chief scientist decided to enter the bridge, to observe his subordinate’s progress, and he was not happy.

“Mister Volker!” he shouted, waking the astrophysicist.

“I’m up!” he yelled, scrambling to look over the console in front of him.

“I assume you are done re-calibrating the FTL drives.”

“Yeah,” Volker explained. “We’re all ready to go once we’re out of range of this star.”

“Good,” Rush said, as he took his place in the captain’s chair.

Silence once again descended on the bridge, but the feeling of Doctor Rush’s presence took away his ability to relax. It was going to be a long day.


Not far away, on the ship’s observation deck, Lieutenant James was reclining on one of the many chairs looking out over the front of the ship.

It was always a show when the Destiny performed a star-dive, as she liked to call it, and she always hated to miss it.

As the ship rose out of the star’s photosphere, she could see the arching of many solar flares dancing around the ship. It was beautiful, almost magical. There was nothing quite like it.

From behind her, a noise came, a spinning cog, followed by a door sliding open. James turned around to look at the new arrival.

Chloe Armstrong didn’t notice the lieutenant’s presence as she entered the observation deck. Her attention was focused on the small computer in her hands. She was a few feet from the door when she finally looked up and saw her.

The young Ms. Armstrong paused, thinking whether she should stay, or leave.

“Hey, Chloe,” James said.

Chloe gave a polite smile before walking to the table and chairs that were on the opposite side of the room.

An awkward silence descended on the deck. James tried to ignore Chloe’s presence, but the thought of the young woman judging her was getting to the soldier.

She got up out of her seat, and crossed the deck to sit in the chair next to her.

“How are things?” James asked awkwardly.

“They’re fine,” Chloe said, typing away on the laptop in front of her.

“That’s good. I mean I was just worried that-”

The young Armstrong suddenly stopped typing and turned to look at the Lieutenant. “What do you want James?”

She paused to collect her thoughts. “Matt didn’t mean anything by that, you know that right?”

“You mean by not telling me you two had a history?”

“…yes.”

Chloe sighed, “Vanessa, that’s not the point.”

“I know… and… he should have told you. But you have to realize something: Matt’s an idiot.”

The two women had a laugh.

“At least, when it comes to these types of things,” James continued. “He’s never made the best decisions in his life, but he means well.”

Chloe lowered her head. “I know.”

The two sat in silence for a minute, watching as the ship passed through the star’s corona.

“You don’t hold any of this against me,” asked Lieutenant James. “Do you?”

Chloe looked at her and smiled. “Don’t worry about it.”


The stress imposed on the leader of a group of humans, separated from their loved ones, and the resources of their home planet, could be overwhelming. Not only did the crew of the Destiny have to survive, they had to remain sane, and that was a challenge in and of itself, especially since they lost contact with Earth. The communication stones were the crew’s one link to earth, and their sanity. Now that it was gone, Colonel Young’s job got much harder. But he would never give up. The way he saw things, if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing.

The doors of the elevator opened abruptly, startling the veteran soldier. Colonel Young exited the elevator and proceeded directly to the bridge.

“Team’s back,” he announced to the two crew members before him. “They didn’t find much though.”

“Well, it was a desert planet,” Rush explained. “What did you expect.”

Young stood next to the Destiny’s chief scientist as he said, “You know, I know it’s a comfortable chair, but… you can get out now.”

Rush gathered his notes, and left as the Colonel took his position.

“Are we out of the star yet?” he asked the astrophysicist in front of him.

“Uhhh… just about,” Volker said.

Pressing a button on the console next to him, he announced, “Attention all crew…”


“We’re about to make the jump to FTL, stand by.” James and Chloe heard over the ship’s speakers.

“You know,” said the Lieutenant. “He’s never bothered announcing an FTL jump before.”

Most of Chloe’s attention was focused on the computer in front of her. “Well, this isn’t a normal jump.”

She looked at the young woman with a touch of fear. “It’s safe right?”

She looked at the Lieutenant, and paused for a second before nodding her head. “Yeah, sure.” Her attention was turned back to the laptop.

James’ concerns weren’t settled.

A disturbance reverberated throughout the ship as it jumped into FTL. Which was accompanied by an expected glow from the front window of the observation deck.

What was not expected, was the fact that the glow did not go away.

“AH!” Chloe said, shielding her eyes.

“Well,” James said. “This is new!”

“Come on!” The young Ms. Armstrong grabbed the computer in front of her. “Let’s get out of here!”

They quickly evacuated the observation deck, closing the door behind them.

James grabbed the radio from her belt.


As Volker sent the ship into FTL, he was lucky to be looking down at the time, as suddenly a bright glow started shining through the front windows. Much brighter than anything they were used to.

Colonel Young shielded his eyes from the light, but it was too intense for just his hand to do the job. The light was almost painful. ”

Doctor Volker reacted quickly, sending the bridge into battle mode. As it lowered into the chassis of the ship, the light slowly went away. Allowing the Colonel to recover from the sudden bombardment.

“What was that?” he asked.

“I have no idea,” Volker explained.

“Colonel,” Lieutenant James’ voice came over the radio. “There’s a bit of a problem on the observation deck, I think we should lock it down.”

“It’s probably every window on the ship,” Rush explained.

“Lock down the observation deck,” the Colonel ordered, before pressing the PA button on his console. “Attention all crew, due to an unforeseen side-effect of the FTL enhancements, I ask that you stay away from any and all windows on the ship. That is all.”

“There,” Rush announced. “No one’s getting in the dome either.”

The Colonel got out of his seat. “What if there’s someone in there, Rush?”

“Well they can still get out.”

“Alright then.” He turned his attention to the other scientist in the room. “So, what was that.”

Volker was working hard at the console in front of him as he responded. “I’m trying to figure that out.”


Twilight and Rainbow were patiently waiting at the Canterlot rail station for the 2:15 train from Phoenix. Well, Twilight was waiting patently… Rainbow Dash was sound asleep, curled up in the middle of the platform.

The purple unicorn was a bit nervous. She hadn’t seen her younger brother in years. Not since she entered Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns. While she was enrolled there, she spent her entire time on the castle grounds, far away from her parents and Moonlight Sonata. The only reason she managed to maintain a relationship with her older brother, Shining Armor, was because he enlisted in the Royal Guard at around the same time. So they encountered each other many times on the castle grounds. But Moonlight, she never saw, and looking back, she never tried to. But that was about to change.

Suddenly, the sound of a train horn in the distance, shook Twilight out of her thoughts and woke her winged companion.

Rainbow Dash rapidly jumped to her hooves, as Twilight leaned over the rails, watching the train roll in, a huge grin on her face.

The train pulled into the station, and slowed to a stop. Very quickly several ponies started flooding the platform.

Twilight searched the crowd.

“So,” Rainbow asked. “What’s this guy look like?”

Twilight opened her mouth to answer, before she realized: “I forget.”

Rainbow was nonplussed.

“Alright!” came a commanding voice from the other side of the platform. “Everypony listen! We have a lot of filming to do and only two weeks to do it!”

“We know that!”

“Good!”

Rainbow and Twilight turned to look at the commotion. Flying above a small crowd of ponies was a red pegasus stallion.

“Now, we have two floors of the Doubleappletree booked. So accommodations shouldn’t be a problem.” One of the crowd members raised a hoof. “Yes, Suave, we do have a suite booked,” the stallion said with a tint of annoyance in his voice. “Now, I want everypony making sure their equipment is all in order, and see you get a good night’s rest. We’re gonna start filming tomorrow, I want everyone, cast and crew, to be well-rested, and not half-asleep or barely hanging on with a caffeine dependency! Alright! Go!”

The crowd dispersed, and Twilight noticed, to her right, a cargo container being unloaded, as several wooden crates were sitting in front of it on the platform.

Twilight approached the crates, and was startled by a voice suddenly screaming, “RED!”

The red pegasus quickly flew over to the cargo container. “Yeah!?”

“Crate S!” said the disembodied voice. As Twilight began moving to get a better look, the two continued talking.

“It should be right in here.”

“Well, it’s a big car, so you should be a bit more specific!”

“I don’t know, it’s… somewhere.” Red looked around.

“If we left her in Phoenix–”

“We didn’t! I saw it loaded onto the car myself, it’s here.”

The other pony didn’t respond, he was too busy focusing on the mare who just walked into his field of view. A very familiar mare.

Twilight could see the pony before her. He was pretty short and scrawny for a stallion. His blue coat and slicked-back mane made him look very familiar to the young unicorn. There was no doubt, here he was, her little brother, Moonlight Sonata.

Red noticed the change in atmosphere, and turned to follow his gaze to the unicorn behind him, who was quickly joined by blue pegasus. He quickly flew up and said, “Hello, can I help you with anything?”

Twilight cleared her throat before proceeding. “Good afternoon, my name is–”

“–Twilight Sparkle!” Red interrupted her, a big grin on his face. “Oh, my, it’s so good to see you again!”

Twilight cocked her head.

“It’s me… Red Rain… I was your neighbour for like, ten years!”

“Oh, I must have forgotten all about you. I’m so sorry.”

Red’s face was frozen in shock.

Twilight’s friend tried to move the conversation along. “Hey!” she said, flying up to meet with the stallion, and shaking his hoof. “Red Rain? Name’s Rainbow Dash! Twilight’s best friend!”

“Oh,” he responded, slightly confused. “Nice to meet you.”

“RED!” the blue unicorn at the back shouted. “Crate S!”

“Moonie… it’s… it’s Twilight…” he said, pointing at the mare behind him.

Moonlight gave Twilight a very aloof, almost dead-eyed look. “That’s great–CRATE S!!!” Just then, his ears perked up and he held up a hoof. “Wait…” he said.

Trotting off to his left, he left Twilight’s field-of-vision again, all the crates blocking him. Twilight stood where she was, as Rainbow and Red flew closer. Eventually, a large wooden crate levitated within a greyish glow, out of the car, and Moonlight lowered it gently onto a nearby dolly.

“Okay,” he said, with a big grin on his face. “Cargo’s fine, we just need to get it to my hotel room.”

“Great!” Red responded.

“You don’t look particularly relieved.”

“That’s because I wasn’t worried.”

Sarcastic laughter came from Moonlight’s mouth. “Alright, I’m going to head to the hotel, you think you can manage things here?”

“Of course,” Red said, hoof on his chest. “How can you have any doubt?”

“Well, you know, there’s a first time for everything.”

Red merely smiled at his friend’s comment. “I’ll meet you when we’re done here.”

“Great, now, am I forgetting anything?”

“The reels?” the pegasus colt replied, pointing to another crate.

“AH!” The crate levitated towards the blue unicorn, and just before he was about to stack it on top of the other crate, he stopped. Considering the situation, he levitated ‘Crate S’ off the dolly, and placed the new crate underneath it.

Rainbow and Twilight watched all this happen quietly. Rainbow because she was unsure of what to do, and Twilight because she was scared.

Eventually the unicorn mare took a deep breath, and approached her brother. “So… Moonlight, it’s good to see you again,” she said with a big grin.

Moonlight settled his cargo, before turning to look at his sister, moving only his head.

“I’m sure,” he said, eyelids lowered. “I heard you moved to Ponyville, what are you doing in Canterlot?”

“Oh, I’m in town on official business, and when I heard you were going to be in town as well, I thought we could catch up.”

“Oh lucky me.” Moonlight’s sarcasm was palpable. “I just happen to visit at the same time as you. Apparently someone hates me.”

Twilight was taken aback. “Um…”

He turned to look at his sister, with nary a hint of joy in his face. “So, let me get this straight: After twenty-three years you decide that suddenly you want to get to know me? What is it? You suddenly had a change of heart? Just now, you suddenly started caring about ponies other than yourself!?”

Her eyes went wide.

“You know what Twilight? I don’t care. I! Don’t! Care! I just don’t care. Okay? Look, I’m gonna be in town for over two weeks, so do me a favour and stay as far away from me as you can, that way I don’t have to see you and I might be able to enjoy my time here and get some work done. Alright? Good!”

As Moonlight trotted away, pushing the dolly away from the station, Twilight just stood there, dumbfounded. She could feel a sharp pain in her heart as the two pegasi floated next to her.

“You… uh… you okay?” Red Rain asked, with genuine concern in his voice.

“Wha… what just happened?”

“Well, apparently, he doesn’t like you!” Rainbow replied.

Twilight’s eye twitched. “THANK YOU RAINBOW! I HAD NO IDEA!” she screamed.

Rainbow cringed in fear.

“Why? What did I do?”

The two mares turned to look at Red. He merely shrugged. “If there’s a reason it never came up.”

Twilight looked around, still aghast at what just happened, before Red broke her train of thought.

“So, you really don’t remember me?”

Twilight looked at him, guiltily. “I’m sorry,” she said.

Red Rain merely sighed. “It’s okay, it’s not your fault, I guess I just wasn’t that memorable… bit of a blow to my ego though,” he finished with a laugh.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I never really forgot about you,” Red gave her a shy grin. “You see… um… when we were kids, I sorta had a bit of a crush on you.”

Twilight turned bright red. “Really?”

“Well… yeah,” he explained with a smile. “I mean, you’re pretty, you’re smart, and you’re really cool.”

“What?!” Rainbow said, a bit confused.

“Um… thanks,” Twilight replied with a smile, ignoring Dash.

“Look, I can talk to him, but I can’t guarantee anything, your brother can be pretty stubborn.”

“Yeah.” Twilight’s smile faded.

“Why did you come here anyway?”

“Huh?” the purple mare said, a bit perplexed. “What do you mean?”

“Well, he’s right, you two haven’t seen each other in years, why do you suddenly want to talk to him?”

“Well, it’s a… bit of a long story.”

Red looked at the mess of crates behind him, as some ponies were looking through them. “We got time.”


Apple Bloom had fallen into a routine. It had only been a few days, but already she managed to adjust to her new responsibilities. She didn’t need to remind herself to visit the library after school again, nor did she end up halfway down the path home before remembering her new job and running all the way back into town. She didn’t know if this was a good thing, or a bad thing, but she wasn’t upset by it.

The yellow earth pony hopped down the street, wasting no time as she approached the library. Knowing Spike was unlikely to answer, she immediately opened the front door and was surprised to hear some noise from the kitchen.

“Spike?” she called.

The young dragon stuck his head out from the kitchen entrance.

“Apple Bloom!” He said, waving her in. “Come in!”

The young earth pony was confused. It appeared, between the last time she saw Spike, and now, he made a colossal improvement. He was out of bed! That was a miracle in and of itself!

She followed him into the kitchen.

On top of the stove, a large stock pot was steaming. Spike stirred it with a large wooden spoon as Apple Bloom sniffed the air.

“So, you hungry?”

“Um…” she responded, still confused. “Well, I was gonna ask you that.”

“Brought me another sandwich huh?” He turned to her with a smile on his face.

Apple Bloom blushed a bit, suddenly very nervous. She sniffed the air again. “Cream of Daisy and Iris, with a dash of Violet.” Her eyes went wide. “That’s my favourite! How’d you know!?”

“Really good memory,” he explained tapping the side of his head. “Applejack once mentioned it.”

Apple Bloom was very happy about this. But still, something bothered her. “You know, you didn’t have to do this, Spike,” she explained.

“Oh, you’ve fed me enough, it’s my turn,” he said, still stirring the pot. “But… that sandwich…”

Apple Bloom reached into her saddlebag and pulled out the bagged sandwich. Giving it to Spike, he quickly pulled it out of the bag, and cut it in half with a knife he already had out, quickly placing each half right next to soup bowls on plates he already had out.

Taking one last sniff of the soup, and a sip from the spoon, he declared, “I think it’s done!” Before grabbing a ladle that was also out, and scooping some soup into each bowl.

He grabbed both plates, and hopped off the stool. Carrying the dishes across the room.

As the two sat down at the kitchen table, they began eating quietly.

After a while, the silence began to eat at the young dragon. “So… what’s new?” he said, trying to make conversation.

Apple Bloom swallowed before answering. “Well… Sweetie Belle’s been trying to get more ponies to join the Crusaders. We’re supposed to meet some of them today.”

“Big initiation rite?”

“Well, something like that,” she said with a smile.

Spike idly stirred his soup before asking his next question. “So, I guess that means you’d mind if I came with you?”

Apple Bloom’s mouth was full. “Waht?”

“I gotta get out of here, do something, and I was hoping I could hang with you… or… something.” Spike slouched in his chair just a bit, trying to make himself invisible. Was it too soon to ask?

Apple Bloom swallowed and smiled, he wanted to leave the library! Twilight’s gonna be so happy! “Of course Spike! You can be an honorary judge!”

Spike righted himself and smiled in turn. “Great! It sounds like fun!”

The two went right back to eating, a bit faster than they were before.


A small ice cream parlour in downtown Ponyville was loosely packed with a few ponies. Of note were two mares sitting at an empty table.

“…and that’s when Candy said, ‘Oh, well then nevermind.'”

The pink earth pony giggled at the green unicorn’s story. Mostly because of her delivery.

“So basically,” Heartstrings continued. “We wasted the whole day. The entire project was completely pointless. But at least we learned we should let our friends deal with their relationships on their own. In fact, I’m willing to bet, if we did nothing, they would have gotten back together sooner.”

Pinkie put a hoof to her chin before responding with, “probably.”

“So, what are your friends like?”

“Um… well, they’re all pretty fun. Fluttershy’s really cool, she once faced a dragon head-on when he tried to attack us.”

“Really? I heard that mare was afraid of her own shadow.”

“Yep, but she ended up talking him down, making him feel guilty.”

The musician jerked her head back in confusion. “I gotta meet this mare.”

Pinkie giggled. “Well, when Twilight and Rainbow…” Her smiled faded.

“Something wrong?” the unicorn asked with genuine concern.

Pinkie’s grin returned quickly. “It’s fine! OO! Ice cream.”

Heartstrings followed Pinkie’s gaze behind her, and saw a grey unicorn mare levitating two dishes on a platter. But her eyes were suddenly drawn to the big clock tower, which suddenly appeared in her field of vision. “Oh, my,” she said, slight panic in her voice. “Is that the time?”

Pinkie followed the unicorn’s gaze. “Yep!”

“I must have lost track of time,” she quickly got to her hooves. “I really have to go, or my boss is going to kill me.”

“Oh, no! But, what about your ice cream!?”

The server placed a hot fudge parfait and a banana split on the table.

“How much for the glass?” Heartstrings asked with a straight face.

Perplexed, the server simply answered, “Um… I don’t know.”

“Look, I’ll bring it back later today.”

The server merely sighed and trotted away. “I don’t get paid enough for this,” she said.

“Pinkie, I’m really sorry, but, we should definitely do this again.”

Pinkie smiled.

“Maybe tomorrow?”

“Sure!”

“Great! Lunch?”

“Sure!”

“Great! I’ll see you tomorrow,” and with that, the green mare cantered off with her parfait.

The smile on Pinkie’s face slowly faded into a small grin. Staring at her banana split, she merely sighed. She couldn’t even bear to eat it, not when Rainbow was still mad at her. She had tried to forget it, but now that the memories were back, they weren’t going away.

A gust of wind suddenly blew through the town and a very colourful envelope landed straight into the banana that dominated the dish. An event that broke Pinkie’s train of thought.

Confused, she picked the envelope up, and read the front. It was addressed to somepony named Strawberry Reef. Who would name their foal Strawberry Reef? She lived all the way in Sugar Cove. That was very far away, it would take her at least a few hours to get there, even by train. So it would be much trouble if she wanted to return the envelope to its rightful owner. But there was something very special about this envelope. Pinkie could detect a party invite through a block of concrete. But this was somepony else’s invite.

Eventually, her principle to never open another pony’s mail was overpowered by her principle to party-hardy. Tearing open the envelope with much gusto, she quickly read the contents. A birthday party for a mare named Fizzypop, a party that had already started without her.

With a sharp gasp, she jumped up and ran straight for the train station.

After a few seconds, Pinkie arrived back at the parlour, slid the entire sundae down her throat, and dropped a few bits on the table before taking off once again.


It was quiet on the far side of Sweet Apple Acres, as a young orange pegasus approached the headquarters of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Scootaloo knew that none of her friends would be arriving for a while. Sweetie Belle was rounding up the new recruits, and Apple Bloom would likely be spending the next hour or two with Spike. She was all alone.

Perfect.

The orange filly entered the clubhouse, and quickly looked around.

“Hello?” she called out.

No response.

Joyously running straight to the Victrola on the other side of the room, Scootaloo pulled out a single record from the cabinet underneath.

She removed the vinyl platter from its sleeve and placed it gently on the spindle dominating the top of the player.

Scootaloo carefully moved the needle to the exact track she wanted, and flicked a switch on the side, causing the record to start spinning.

She moved to the centre of the room, closed her eyes, and raised her forehooves in the air before the music started playing.

As the young pegasus heard the bass start up, she began moving her hips in time, until it hit a spontaneous flourish, at which point she landed on all four hooves and began moving her entire body to the beat.

I’ve been workin’ so hard
I’m searchin’ my heart
Been looking, for love
Oh, tell me what I’ve got

I’ve got this feeling
That something’s missin’ in me

She moved her hooves side to side, taking a spin or two. She did not decide her movements. Scootaloo let the music do that for her.

I’ll hit the ceiling
To find my destiny!!!

She wasn’t just listening to the music, she was a part of it.

Tonight, I gotta cut loose
Hoofloose, kick off my steel horseshoes
Please, Plumsweet, kick me off of my seat

Scootaloo was so absorbed in the song, she did not notice a yellow filly, and her dragon friend, enter the room.

Duck, Roseluck, let’s go before we’re struck
Lose your blues, everypony cut hoofloose

They stood there, as Scootaloo landed from her spin, and stared them straight in the eyes. A deep red appeared on the pegasus’ face.

You’re playin’ so cool

Spike acted quickly, grabbing the filly’s hooves, and spinning her around.

Obeyin’ every rule

Apple Bloom quickly joined her friends, pointing her forehooves in opposite directions as she bobbed her head.

Dig way down in your heart
You’re burnin’, yearnin’ for a song

The trio moved in perfect sync.

Somepony to tell you
That life ain’t passing you by

Apple Bloom jumped up between the other two, and quickly grabbed Spike’s claws, taking the other filly’s place.

Scootaloo did not mind.

I’m trying to tell you
It will if you don’t even try

As the two spun together, their winged friend began swinging her head.

You can fly if you’d only cut loose
Hoofloose, kick off your steel horseshoes

Apple Bloom could feel the heavy guitar riffs roll through her spine; she bucked her legs back and forward, separating from Spike.

Oohee, Daisy, shake it, shake it for me

Spike took a spin and started shuffling his feet.

Oh, Seaglow, come on, come on let’s go
Lose your blues, everypony cut hoofloose

As the music calmed down, so did the trio, and Spike was the first to actually speak.

“…cut hoofloose,” he sang, in sync with the song.

“…cut hoofloose,” Scootaloo and Apple Bloom joined in. “…cut hoofloose-ah!”

The energy in the room was thicker than cement, as the group continued singing.

“You’ve got to turn it around,” yelled an out-of-tune Scootaloo.

“…and put your hooves on the ground,” came a smooth-sounding Apple Bloom.

“Now take control of your soul,” Spike sang with as much energy as he could muster.

The music picked up once again, as Apple Bloom ran straight for Spike.

I’m turning it loose!

He grabbed her hooves and she flipped through the air, landing on the other side.

Hoofloose, kick off your steel horseshoes

They began spinning in each other’s embrace.

Please, Plumsweet, kick me off of my seat
Duck, Roseluck, let’s go before we’re struck
Lose your blues, everypony cut hoofloose
Hoofloose, kick off your steel horseshoes
Please, Plumsweet, kick me off of my seat
Duck, Roseluck, let’s go before we’re struck
Lose your blues

As the song came to a close, they all danced together, hoof in hoof and hoof in claw.

Everypony cut, everypony cut
Everypony cut, everypony cut
Everypony cut, everypony cut
Everypony, everypony cut hoofloose!

As the three landed from their performance, a young white unicorn just stared at them.

“You didn’t invite me?” asked Sweetie Belle.


The lobby of the Doubleappletree was very large and spacious. Dominated by warm tones, orange, red, and yellow, it’s layout was elegant and functional. At the front, facing the street, were large bay windows that allowed plenty of light in, as well as allowing anypony to look outside.

As one entered they would find the Portage, the hotel’s main restaurant, to their right. To the left, further down, was the main desk, where many ponies were working, and many more were waiting. However, closer to the front entrance, was a small waiting area, with cushions and tables, where young blue stallion was sitting, waiting.

In front of his face, a copy of Discovery Magazine was levitating in a greyish glow. Just low enough, so his eyes could look at the front entrance.

As he read quietly to himself, he could see, in his peripheral vision, a red stallion enter the lobby.

Setting the magazine down, he quickly trotted over to his best friend.

“RED!” he yelled, getting the pegasus’ attention.

“Oh, hey Moonlight,” he responded with a smile. “What’s up?”

“Where were you?” Moonlight replied with anger in his voice. “Everypony else was here an hour ago, what took you so long?”

“Oh. Well, Twilight and Rainbow offered to take me out for… wait what comes between Lunch and Dinner?”

“What!?” Moonlight was aghast.

“What?” Red was confused.

“Why did you have… food… with them?”

“Alright Moonlight, I don’t know what your problem is, but Twilight is a nice mare.”

“Yeah, and you’re not biased at all,” Moonlight said, eyelids lowered.

“Okay, I’ll admit she’s still pretty hot, but that’s besides the point.”

“You don’t know Twilight like I do.”

“I lived next-door to her for ten years, I think I know her pretty well.”

“You didn’t know her at all, you two never talked, you just crushed on her from the other side of the block. Let me tell you about Twilight: She’s cold, bitter, and uncaring; and I don’t know about you, but I want nothing to do with that mare.”

As Moonlight started walking to the elevators, Red caught up with him.

“She’s changed, Moonlight.”

The blue unicorn stopped in his tracks, looked at him and said, “Ponies don’t change, Red.” Before walking away once again.


Sweetie Belle led the way out of the clubhouse, her friends, and Spike, following her lead.

“Come on, they’re waiting for us!” the excited unicorn screamed.

The trio followed in her wake. As they approached the treeline, Scootaloo slid up to her yellow friend and asked a simple question that had bugged her for a while. “So, why is Spike here?” She asked quietly.

Apple Bloom looked behind her, noticing Spike was out of earshot. Lowering her voice, she explained, “He wanted to come, and I couldn’t say no, this is a big deal for him, he hasn’t left the library in weeks.”

Scootaloo looked at Apple Bloom. “You sure that’s the only reason?”

“What are you getting at Scoot?”

“Oh… nothing,” the young pegasus said with a coy smile.

Apple Bloom was about to respond when the aforementioned dragon interrupted her.

“So, who are the new recruits?” He asked.

“Oh, they’re waiting near Styre Gorge.”

“Why there?” Apple Bloom asked.

“I’m not sure, it was Dairy’s idea.”

So the four continued the trek to the other side of the orchard.


“Dark matter,” said Volker in a very matter-of-fact way.

“Dark matter?” Young asked, in a very confused way.

The Control Interface Room was one of the few places on the ship with no windows. The ideal place to discuss the situation at hand.

“Well, we can’t be sure, but it appears that way,” the astrophysicist explained, as he leaned against the centre console.

“We don’t even know how the drives work,” said Adam Brody from the other side of the room. “I mean it’s all just guess-work. But typically, you know those streaks of light that…” He began motioning over his head.

Colonel Young nodded.

“Well, we figure that, that’s just dark matter impacting on the shields, and now that we’re going that much faster, we’re hitting more dark matter, which is amplifying the effect.”

“So, what can we do about it?”

Brody and Volker just looked at each other, before they turned to look back at the Colonel, and Dale merely shrugged his shoulders. “The good news is,” he explained. “The light seems to be dimmer on windows facing the sides and rear of the ship, which should… should be good.”

Colonel Everett Young looked at the floor briefly before continuing, “So how long is this going to last?”

“Until we drop out.”

Adam interjected. “Which brings us to our next problem.” He shuffled some papers before continuing. “Normally, we have to run the drives for a minimum of four hours before dropping out, and due to the alterations we made, that number has gone up.”

Colonel Young just looked at the engineer, waiting for him to continue.

“We’re going to have to wait a little under 12 hours before we can drop out.”

“So…”

Volker quickly explained, “It’ll drain our power to almost nothing. We’ll barely have enough power to run the lights.”

“Will we still be able to refuel?”

“Yeah,” Brody said. “But we’ll be cutting it way too close. We’ll have to find a suitable star that’s within the tiny margin between when we can drop out and when we end up draining our fuel tanks.”

There was a slight pause before Volker spoke up. “I’m starting to think this wasn’t such a good idea.”

Young looked at him. “Find a star we can refuel at.”

Doctor Volker simply sighed, before the Colonel continued.

“So, in the meantime what can we do about the light?”

Both looked at Brody for the answer.

“…Curtains,” he said.


Styre Gorge was deep and wide. In fact, to call it a gorge might be inaccurate, since the side opposite to Sweet Apple Acres was much lower. But that was its name, and nothing would change that in the near future.

At the top of the cliff side, four young foals were waiting. One of them, a unicorn filly, was burying small tiny objects in the ground with her magic, as three fillies and a dragon crossed the clearing.

“Alright girls,” Sweetie Belle announced. “Meet the new Cutie Mark Crusaders!”

The four new recruits quickly stood in a line, as the white unicorn told them to earlier.

As she cleared her throat, Sweetie Belle began gesturing to each of them, starting with the blue colt on the far left. “Ink Jet.” Next to him, was a light purple unicorn filly with a blonde mane. “Dairy Milk.” Next to her was a very young Appaloosan. “Pip, and…” On the far right, was a grey pegasus colt named, “Rumble!”

Sweetie Belle then gestured to her other friends. “And you all know Scootaloo and Apple Bloom.”

“Hi-Hello,” the two waved to the new recruits.

After a brief pause, Sweetie eventually acknowledged, “oh, and Spike.”

“Hi.”

The white unicorn went straight to business. “Alright! Each of you have two minutes to show us what you’re made of. Pip, you’re first.”

The excited little earth pony went straight to work as the rest sat down to watch. Off to the side were several sticks and plates. He grabbed them and carefully placed each of them in the ground. He followed this by placing the plates on top of the sticks, and spinning them. Once all three were spinning, and not falling off, he lifted the middle one, and placed it on his nose. Reaching to his left, he pulled another out of the ground and balanced it on his hoof, and then followed with the left side. He was doing it. A smile appeared on the young colt’s face.

His audience applauded, at act which suddenly caused him to lose all concentration. He lost his balance and fell flat on his face, right before three plates shattered on his head, one at a time.

As he looked up, he saw Sweetie writing on a clipboard. “You get an A for effort. NEXT!”

Pip got up and sat down as Dairy Milk took his place.

“Alright!” She said, with a great amount of energy, “do you want to see something amazing and spectacular!?”

Nodding, sounds of approval, and Pip rubbing his head, all came from the crowd before her.

“Then feast your eyes on this!” she screamed as a yellow glow came from her horn, and behind her, two cannons went off, launching bright lights into the sky, which eventually exploded into bright sparkles of yellow light.

Spike leaned towards Apple Bloom and said, “Probably look better at night.” She smiled.

Then, Dairy raised her hooves in the air, as a series of explosions went off in front of her, one after the other, from the left, to the right.

As the last explosive went off, an ominous sound was heard.

Crack!

Dairy looked down. Where she had buried the fireworks, a crack was slowly moving across the ground.

Everypony in the area began noticing what was going on, but only one of them realized the real consequences of this.

“DAIRY!” Apple Bloom yelled.

The young unicorn looked up.

“RUN!!!!”

The cliff began breaking away, and Dairy legged it as fast as her hooves could carry her.

But the cracks did not stop. Due to what Apple Bloom presumed was some type of ripple effect, the cracks began moving straight towards them.

All eight ran in the opposite direction, with all the energy they had. Fear was their motivation, and it was powerful.

The sound of their hoofsteps was overshadowed by the sound of the cliff collapsing behind them, and that only intensified the fear. Which for one, was so strong, she couldn’t focus on anything. Scootaloo’s eyes began to blur, so much that she didn’t see the stone sticking out of the ground that her hoof impacted on.

As the others made it to the tree line, Apple Bloom spun in place, only to see an orange pegasus wipeout on the ground.

Spike was taking up the rear, so he was quickly able to help the young filly to her hooves.

“Spike!” yelled the yellow earth filly.

But it was too late for both of them, as the ground collapsed beneath the two children, sending them into the gorge below.

Sweetie Belle grabbed her earth pony friend before she did anything stupid.

Tears appeared in Apple Bloom’s eyes as she tried to run after them. “SPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE!!!!”



HoofFootloose originally written by Kenny Loggins.

The characters of Fizzypop and Strawberry Reef were created by ItsTheWhinyGuys for his story, Happy Birthday, Fizzypop.


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