Princess Celestia
Unexpected Companions [Closed]


Well, she was right about the small living space. Granted, I am smaller and have the comfort of stretching room in these quarters so I can see why she downplayed the size. I looked around to see if we were stocked up on supplies in here. To my benefit, I saw that we indeed had food, drinks, and medical supplies. I’m also carrying a sizable amount of said supplies in my saddlebags, old habits and all. The chairs look comfy enough, and the view isn’t too bad either. Granted, it could use a mural in here. It kind of reminds me of the Stable in a weird sort of way.

"Spending nearly my whole life in a large underground bomb shelter I could get used to these living arrangements but, in all seriousness, this is some phenomenal work! All this out of spare parts? Not too shabby! Why, I think Applebloom herself would be awestruck! I think you missed your calling."

I took a seat in one of the chairs, to test it of course! It felt kind of like a modified office chair. I pull a couple Sparkle Cola’s out of my saddlebag and offer one of them to her.

"Ahhhh…you’ve really outdone yourself here. Want to get settled in?"

I have no idea what she’s talking about. This is one cozy little rocket ship.

Princess Celestia was more than a little leery about eating the food from this universe. If she was being perfectly honest with herself, she was almost entirely sure there was something none too trustworthy floating about in the water here. Still, it would hardly be becoming of her to reject Velvet’s hospitality in a moment of celebration. The alicorn opens the cola, tosses the bottle cap lazily out of the latch as if it were useless, and does her very best to drink it down while having her head scrunched up against the ceiling.

"Settled in? I was about ready to go, honestly."

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"Did I sound like I was complaining? The fact we turned a 200 year old weapon of war into a space bearing machine by ourselves in the matter of about a week, is beyond impressive. Heck, it’s downright stupendous! When I woke up in bed before all this, I never thought I’d ever do anything even remotely close to this. If this is a dream, I wouldn’t be too surprised, which isn’t saying much considering that I don’t think anything would surprise me at this point."

If this is low expectations for her, I wonder what an ideal rocket would be like? That thought both intrigues me and chills my bones. There’s no way somepony could be so advanced without some sort of baggage. This may be more than Twilight’s influence on her. If this Celestia can build an impromptu rocket out of spare parts, then why couldn’t our Celestia run her country let alone space travel?

"Well, no reason to continue wasting time talking about this thing, give me the grand tour! I want to see this for myself!

The Princess nods before beginning to lead the unicorn around the space craft, introducing her to the systems one at a time.

"Well, I am happy to see your enthusiasm, Velvet. I just hope the grand tour does not disappoint. This rocket is still a staggering eighty five percent liquid fuel in relation to its total mass, that is even despite a reduction to the overall size of the fuel tank in the conversion. Being as that is so, there is not much to specifically tour through in terms of its innards. As I have said, cramped would be an accurate description of the rocket’s interior. That said, I have installed interior maintenance sections that can be navigated in an emergency, and have eliminated half of the exterior access panels in favor of a design that more roughly approximates a uni-body.

To that end, the hull of the craft is significantly thinner now. At a mere fifty percent of its original thickness, the new approximated uni-body is significantly lighter and more rigid than the old rocket frame. All of which was completely unavoidable, as the upgraded internals more than make up for the difference in mass. In fact, this rocket is now nearly three times heavier than it was before thanks to the addition of several revised internal systems, including a simple avionics package, a backup power system combined with a revised reactor, several new emergency systems, the addition of on-board oxidizer, a relatively simple flight computer, and the addition of a comprehensive life support system.

To put it simply, this design is far less than ideal, but still far better than it otherwise would have been should we have left it unchanged. At the very least, riding it will no longer result in a dramatically decreased life expectancy for the passenger. Still, the details likely are interesting to some degree. Take for instance the reactor. The old one had some minor /leakage/ which I have solved with some electronically conductive magnetic shielding. This shielding converts the radiation leakage into electricity for the purposes of torque-fill on the electric generator. That, and the heat exchanger wrapped around the engine bell has been added into the system, so that burning the engine will generate further electrical power.

Excess power is stored in a standard ninety cell micro-battery and excess heat is bled off on the ship’s massive exterior copper fins. Temperature regulation and climate control occurs through heat exchangers and compressors connected in the fins as well. Of course, that’s just the overview. See in these access panels here? I now have all the wiring properly shielded, color coded, and grounded too. Shockingly, the original design did not, it also refused to use copper for some unfathomable reason, which I have also corrected. All contact points are now gold plated as well, and all steel components have been made to be stainless, In a few places nickel plating was used to help with resistance to oxidation or other discoloration issues on certain key metal surfaces. Of course, other than the new oxidizer tank, this brings us to the real interesting component of this ship.”

The tour finally brings the two up to the top of the rocket, and the all too  important crew compartment.

"Here we are, home sweet home."

The alicorn insists as she squeezes inside and shuffles into one of the two available seats. As she had stated twice before, cramped was not an incorrect descriptive term for their predicament.

"So, as you can see, there are indeed two seats. They both have a six way safety harness, head rest, and sub-optimal leg room for a pony of my size. Still, that really cannot be helped. The system in front of us is a very rough flight computer. It is likely the heaviest component in the top half of this rocket, and it is quite basic at that. It really is little more than a calculator when you break it down. Most of the switches are not really all of that exciting. It is worth noting that I did indeed include some windows here, a front and one side window for each chair. Other than that, we only have the one CRT screen for a display, and the throttle is a bit cobbled together.

To be blatantly honest, I did not spend too much time up here because of the size limitations. I did the best I could, but I fear I will be ducking and banging my head through most of our travels in here. It may be wise for me to invest in a helmet, but I simply lacked the raw materials.”

Celestia looks to Velvet with a small smile, a look which looked rather comical considering how she was practically tucked into a ball trying to fit in here.

"Well? What do you think, Velvet? This is it, everything and all that it is. Do you approve?"

Unexpected Companions [Closed]


"Ooh! Fan-cay!"

Judging by those long words I only kind of understand, this might be one high-tech spaceship! Either that or she’s burying the junkiness under a large vocabulary.

"The way you make it sound, you make it sound like it’s bigger on the inside! What’s next? It can travel through time and relative dimensions in space?"

That’s got to be a impossibility, but then again, with all the nuttiness I’ve seen recently, I’ll believe just about anything.

"Oh don’t be silly, Velvet. Of course it can travel through time and relative dimensions in space."

The Princess began her reply over her shoulder as she led the mare down the platforms to the bottom of the large launch tube. Each careful step downwards she tried her hardest not to look at the unicorn, she tried not to sound like a used carriage salesmare, and she tried not to make her flaming metal death trap sound any worse than it already clearly was.

"If it couldn’t travel through time it would never be able to exist in the present to begin with. It would just be stuck in the past somewhere, lodged in some inexplicable moment in history. As for moving through relative dimensions in space, I mean, that one is just obvious. We’re moving through four or so dimensions in space at many times the speed of light across this entire universe just standing stock still on the surface of this planet right now.

As for the inside, well, it’s um… it’s smaller. Cramped wouldn’t be an entirely incorrect appraisal.”

The alicorn softly admits as they arrive under the large engine bell where they had began their journey just over a week ago. In sheer contrast, she appeared to have far less confidence in these times. Though she was quick to rise to her bizarre creation’s defense.

"Good, Bad, those kind of terms are relative. Our rocket does not need to be immaculate perfection in the eyes of highly advanced space aliens to be effective or useable. It just has to function for our needs. Now I will admit that time travel would certainly be neat, as would be swapping dimensions at the drop of a feather, but they would hardly be helpful options for the two of us to possess for the mission we are about to undertake."

The alicorn points up above them with her nose, indicating the single rocket engine floating above them, despite a few small obvious changes it looked like roughly the same engine design they had seen prior to the start of this redesign.

"Take for instance, this engine. It is 400 times more efficient now than it was before, with faster throttle response and more accurate fuel injection that is applied more intelligently than in the previous iteration. What the old Ballistic Missile was doing with a gallon of liquid fuel only takes a fem drops of that same fuel right now.

Now, it may not be a plasma engine powered by high efficiency phase changers or some sort of ion driver fed by a network of intergalactic microwave emitters, but it really does not need to be. Please, Velvet, considering the circumstances please recognize the importance of managing your expectations. If I had a well equipped laboratory I could make you a warp drive that works just like the ones in the old science fiction novels, but realistically we are two mares lacking in any reliable sources of food or water that have been imprisoned in a concrete hole buried in the ground for just over a week. The fact that we are still alive, and healthy for that matter, is nothing short of extraordinary. That said, if you would be so very kind, please consider the ramifications of that argument before you ask me whether the impromptu rocket we somehow managed to slap together is indeed physically larger on the inside.”

Unexpected Companions [Closed]


"Eh, I’ve called worse places home. This shouldn’t be too bad."

Living in a rocket for an unpresumed amount of time? What’s the worst that could happen?

"I hope you got something prepped for the little fillies room or this is going to be one miserable flight."

"I took the liberty of installing a low gravity waste storage and recovery system, yes. Yet, somehow I do not find myself believing the conic vacuum interface tube of that system will be an important first stop on our tour.

Shall we instead start with the reworked engines? Then, perhaps, work our way up through the revamped power regulation into the brand new crew cabin? Come along now, Velvet, I shall lead the way.”

Unexpected Companions [Closed]


I smirk a little at that last comment of her’s.

"Funny. She said the exact same thing to me once. She told me it was due to her cowardice, shoveling the war onto her sister and Twilight’s friends. Even on the final day, she fled forced to watch the wasteland she created.

Still, I don’t think it’s fair to blame the entire thing on her. The problem was that nopony had the nerve to say what they’re doing is wrong. I guess it shows that fear is a very dangerous emotion. There’s no doubt that Cadence was scared then too. Anything could’ve happened, so we should be careful.” 

Maybe my Celestia and this one were more alike than I thought. What would she have done during the war? Would she know when to fold and make peace with the Zebra’s or would she be more adamant in winning? Or maybe, repeat the actions that doomed us all.

The Princess did not look too convinced by Velvet’s argument. The idea that fear alone could dislodge the immense power of an alicorn or offset any carefully laid plan of their ilk sounded strangely erroneous to her. Perhaps it was a bit premature to attempt to assign blame to any single group of individuals at this stage in their investigation, but blaming a force as expansive as fear itself sounded nothing short of quixotic to the alicorn. At some point, an actual pony had to approve the creation of the associated technologies, sign the required documentation, orchestrate the construction of the city destroying missiles, and even assign the blame to the proper parties when it all went awry. That was, of course, assuming that this particular set of outcomes was not indeed a part of the plan to begin with or the entirety of the plan itself. At some point, somewhere, somehow, somepony simply had to be responsible for all of this. Though, the usual suspects aside, Velvet Remedy was entirely correct in assuming that the pair simply did not have enough information to decide upon anything as of yet.

For now, their first goal was only to rectify that situation. Anything else was nothing more than sheer speculation.

"Indeed, we should be as careful as we can dare. Still, we cannot afford to sit here and do nothing either. We must strike a balance between inaction and acceptance of consequence, and I believe that balance lies first in granting you a tour of this rocket of ours. Like it or not, dangerous though it may be, we may be calling it home for quite some time."

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"Well, I did hear one other thing. I’m not sure if there’s any truth to it but I think it’s still important. Y’see, I think I was told that the war made the princess go mad. Tyrannical I think it was. Perhaps not, I don’t know her like you do but I still feel it’s worth mentioning."

Maybe it is the right move but for some reason I feel concerned about it. Like there’s some evil there. Maybe it’s because I got used to every place having their own personal evil attached to it but that aside, it seems ominous to say the least. It never seemed that ominous when we were planning expeditions out in that area with Calamity and my friends but maybe it was because of the peace. The peace that is certainly lacking in this world. I guess it’s not bad to be overly cautious.

Princess Celestia pauses to consider the mare’s words. After all, any argument for caution was at least partially worth examining. Celestia had known Princess Cadence for the younger mare’s entire life, she could practically read the pony like a book, and the two alicorns always did get along swimmingly. However, that was in her own world, and certainly not this one. Here, nearly anything could be true. Could she possibly discredit or disprove what Velvet was suspecting based solely on the information she had thus far received from her limited time in this universe?

She considered that question for quite a while before speaking.

"The Crystal Empire is immune to magical assault. If they were ever a key player in a war fought and ended with the use of magical bombs then they would only ever be a winning player. In order for Princess Cadenza to have been well and truly evil during this conflict, she must have been turned to stone or otherwise imprisoned in a way that would keep her permanently contained. Being as The Crystal Empire does not currently rule over the Earth, yet in light of the fact it is still spoken of, I can only imagine that any rumors related to Cadenza’s evil deeds must only be indicative of the opposite.

In fact, I believe I am quite sure of this, Velvet. Perhaps I am even more sure of what I am about to say, than I am of the trust I hold for you.”

Princess Celestia’s eyes turn hard as she braces herself for the use of some incredibly unkind words. It was all the worse considering the ponies she would be specifically referring to. Yet, there was seemingly no escaping this final conclusion.

"I believe Princess Cadenza was the only Equestrian Princess in this universe capable of acting out of sound mind and clear conscience. I fear that all of the rest, no matter what they may otherwise indicate or inspire other individuals to believe, were likely beyond any rational expectation of hope.

Indeed, the biggest villain to anyone in this and even your own timeline, is undoubtedly Princess Celestia herself.”

Unexpected Companions [Closed]


"Funny that you mention that. My husband was wanting to plan an expedition there. From what I know, there is literally no info on that area. We’ve heard stories, yeah, about the Crystal Empire in the war and some stuff with some fellow named Sombra or somepony named Cadence, I think. It’s all really unclear, to be honest nopony knows what happened to them after the war. Many ponies don’t know if it even existed. To make a long story short, I have no idea. Now that I mention it, I never asked about that to Fluttershy or Spike, they’d know."

Crystal Empire, I wonder what is the importance of that place? I think I know but it’s something that I can’t quite grasp, what was it? It’s on the tip of my tongue…dammit! What was it?

"There is no need to ask, Velvet. The simple fact that you have heard of Princess Cadenza means that her efforts must have been at least partially successful. The Crystal Empire is likely all too safe, if not directly shielded or hidden away. We should be able to see that from orbit when we launch.

In either case, we should travel there. Their magic is powerful, much more powerful than ours, it is possible this war did not affect them directly, and I will need a fully intact library with adequate newspaper records in order to gather the information we will need in order to decide on our first move.”

Unexpected Companions [Closed]


"I know the wasteland is a crummy place with psychopaths running a muck but there’s nice places too with laws and order. Well, most places you’re actually more likely to find nothing. Literally nothing but sand at your hooves like in Saddle Arabia or the Ponave desert or something. No guarantee’s but that’s where I’d land."

Even if this is a different wasteland than the one I’m used to, all the places are still there. Perhaps not my friends but the landmarks are undoubtedly there.

"Or maybe we could give Spike a visit? If he’s here then so are the Elements."

Decisions, decisions. What to do?

Princess Celestia turns to the mare, acting as if she wanted to speak, but not committing to the action in any meaningful way through her body language. It was not that the mare was unsure of what they should be doing first, as much as it was that she felt immensely uncertain of how any one problem addressed before the others would consequently domino into affecting the other options.

The Elements of Harmony were a true priority. Without their presence in the Everfree Forest, the powers of limitless freedom would empower madness and impossible monsters to sweep across the land, spreading havoc and fear with each passing day. Logic dictated that the Elements of Harmony should be returned to the Tree of Harmony first and foremost, but uncertainty reared its head when the mare considered why these magical artifacts were no longer there to begin with. She was frightened at the prospect of a plan set into motion which demanded their presence elsewhere in the first place. Worse, should that plan remain in motion to this day, there was a strong likelihood she could be upsetting the balance and empowering some greater evil which outclassed even the looming threat of atomic destabilization the Everfree Anomaly provided.

The bottom line was that she needed more information, as much as she could get her hooves on. The most logical destination in such a case would be Canterlot, but the looming danger of the mysterious pink cloud prevented her from committing to it. All of the information in the world would be useless if the two mares died attempting to retrieve it. Indeed, it would even be useless if it merely incapacitated them, or slowed them down in some way. The two simply could not afford to be at anything less than full strength at the moment, rendering the entire prospect of a Canterlot Journey an unquestionably immense risk.

So it was that the Princess thought of only one last course of action. Honestly, one of two, the last not even to be thought of. There was too much hope left in all of this to resort to the true final option, leaving the mare only with a single question for Velvet Remedy.

"Velvet, did The Crystal Empire ever return in your time?"

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"Forgive me if I don’t seem…confident, but the way it sounds the odds of death seems really high. Even if we get this thing up in the air, then what? I don’t know if we even have a plan for once we leave. I’m no stranger to danger but this seems pretty bleak."

Although the rocket looks infinitely better than how it was when we started, it still doesn’t look 100%. The integrity is questionable although not bad. Considering it was made in about a week that’s pretty impressive. Goddess damn, I’m confused!

"Actually, the odds of survival are pretty good for us, all things considered. I’ve reworked a lot of the systems, multiplied efficiency in a number of cases, and even managed to make some functional emergency subsystems in the case of main system failure. The only truly dangerous part of this mission will be the landing, if only because this ship is no longer entirely bullet proof."

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"So, you’re saying we are going to burn in a metal oven miles above the atmosphere but at least I’ll be familiar with the screaming metal fire coffin?"

Well, thank Goddesses for that!

"Don’t we need spacesuits or whatever?"

"Oh no, there’s no need for anything like that unless you plan to exit the vehicle while we are in orbit. As it stands, the vehicle is not exactly built to endure that sort of situation either, so I would not recommend it.

Not that this ship is anywhere near that dangerous anyway. It is certainly more safe than the simply ballistic missile we started with.”