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Literature
Day 2- Centaur
Her hooves thunder against the ground as she races against the stallion. She pours more and more effort into each gallop, trying to get an edge. Faster and faster she charges, nimbly dodging tree and bush. She’s almost there. She can see the old cottage, their finish line come into view but something isn’t right. A presence.
“Hey, Karl. Do you hear something?” a well-built lumberjack says to his coworker, chainsaw in hand.
“Yeah, sounds like a horse galloping nearby. Odd, I don’t recall ever seeing any in this forest.” His mate, a more lanky, but still strong enough to wield a chainsaw of his own replied.
She screeches to a halt, dirt and loam flying everywhere from her sudden stop. Her mother always warned her of humans; they cause nothing but trouble and leave nothing but destruction. The stallion thunders on to win and lets out a whinny of victory. She quickly shushes him, but he’s too proud to listen.
“What’s that in the d
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Literature
Spooktober 1- Harpy
She eyes up her opponent. He’s tall, dark and dangerous;
A worthy adversary.
She studies his movements. They have a practiced ease about them.
He is ready to make a move.
Her talons dig into the ground. The first to move, loses.
So lost in anticipation she almost doesn’t notice his approach but she’s ready.
“So, what’s a cute harpy like you doing in a rough place like this?”
“Cuteyouareum,Iermdateyeswouldyou?”
Nailed it.
He just laughs. A beautiful, wonderful song that melts away her nervousness.
“I saw you eyeing me from across the room. Seems it was mutual. Care to kill a few brain cells?”
She nodded vigorously, blushing and nervously preening her wing feathers out of habit.
And thus a friendship was forged over some awkward glances and a few drinks.
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Literature
The Conquest of Space- part 8 (end)
The Conquest of Space: The Saga of Dawn Sparkle
Chapter 8: Star Trot- The Next Generation
   The white flash subsided as Equestria prime came into view. Despite being to space several times, I still found it amazing to see my home planet as a small blue marble. But introspection is for a different time.
“Stardust, anything on the sensors?”
“Negative, captain.”
“I don’t like this. To quote a movie cliché: it is quiet, too quiet,” Royal asserted.
“Actually, captain, I am getting lots of radio and video transmissions on the comm.” Unremarkable contradicted.
“What are they saying and who is sending them out?”
“They are coming from all over Equestria. The Griffin lands, the Buffalo plains, Cloudsdale, Canterlot, Ponyville, Las Pegasus….”
“I get it. All over Equestria. What are they saying?”
“Equestria is under attack from changelings from space.”
“So, the invasion
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Literature
The Conquest of Space- Part 7
The Conquest of Space: The Saga of Dawn Sparkle
Chapter 7: To Boldly Go Where Nopony Has Gone Before
   It is a race against time. The Chitin ship is nowhere to be seen, my friends are dying and Equestria might be in danger. I barrel on through the empty halls of the Friendship making as much haste as I possibly can with my companions panting by my side and the deformed, unconscious and brainwashed Cream Pie held in my telekinesis as we rush to the shuttle. I pant a sigh of relief as the awaiting shuttle comes into sight. I take a second to catch my breath before signaling Royal’s shuttle.
“Royal here,” he said grimly. He then looked up at the view screen and his mood improved ever so slightly.
“What’s your status?”
“I lost a good pony today. Yeoman Grip. He was one of the best.”
“Losing ponies should never be easy or normal, but we are facing a potential crisis here. Equestria isn’t prepared to handle this and we ma
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Literature
The Conquest of Space- Part 6
The Conquest of Space: The Saga of Dawn Sparkle
Chapter 6: To Seek Out New Life and New Civilizations
   A sat there crying on my bed for a time, but I decided that shedding tears wasn’t going to fix anything. Only by confronting the problem could I resolve it. Just I only hoped that I could placate both of my friends in an amiable manner that left nopony raw.
I headed down to the brig and had a brief conversation with them, reminding them that they are officers on my ship and this behavior is hardly befitting for ponies of their stature. I also reminded them that I do rely on them to keep the Magic functioning and we really need to get back to work and sort out our personal problems later. They both reluctantly nodded in agreement and we three walked to the bridge in silence.  
I stared out the view screen at the nebula that had kept us company for several days and smiled. Its swirling eddies and currents always seemed to amaze no matter how many times I saw it. T
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Literature
The Conquest of Space- Part 5
The Conquest of Space: The Saga of Dawn Sparkle
Chapter 5: To Explore Strange New Worlds
Night came and went with our royal guest amazing pony and bird alike with her moonrise and set. The morning found me refreshed, but still sore from my exploits of the previous day. I decided to hit my day head-on with a good breakfast and some small talk with the Princess before she called it a night (or day as it were). Now that things were calm, I decided to hit up Captain Swift on her offer to tour her ship.
The Avian ship seemed almost cramped, despite the high ceilings and large rooms. The Magic is by no means a large ship, but I felt that my own ship seemed more spacious even though my ship’s compliment and physical size is smaller than the Saber. I asked Captain Swift about this and she replied, “It I due to the nature of our vessel. We go for long journeys and basic physics says that more ship requires more fuel and supplies, so to maximize our range, wasted space is minimized.&
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Literature
The Conquest of Space- part 4
The Conquest of Space: The Saga of Dawn Sparkle
Chapter 4: The Prime Directive
   I awoke to sunshine and birds chirping. I slowly opened my eyes and gazed upon a green field, a small grove of trees, a bunch of nice little flowers and a small family of bunnies hopping by. “You’re awake, eh?”
“Honeycrisp?”
“That’s my name, don’t wear it out.”
“Where am I?”
“In the core room on board the Magic.”
“How did I get here?
“We signed up for service in the Equestrian Space Command fleet and after years at the ESC academy we earned a position aboard the starship Magic. I’d hope your temporary amnesia would allow you to remember that.”
I faltered for a second before answering, “…I know that part. I mean from my, dare I say, epic teleport to the Saber, how am here in the Magic’s core room?”
“Right. Well, Joe handled the rest of the diplomacy and returned you
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Literature
The Conquest of Space- Part 3
The Conquest of Space: The Saga of Dawn Sparkle
Chapter 3: First Contact
   “Captain.”
“Just five more minutes, Mom.”
“Captain Sparkle, your presence is requested on the bridge.”
I groaned, sleepily opened my eyes and unleashed a yawn that could terrify a manticore. “Alright, Joe. I’ll be right up.”
The intercom clicked off and I let loose another yawn and rolled out of bed with a lack of grace resulting in a tangled mess of sheets and me on the floor of my room. I groaned again and mumbled under my breath as I released myself from the grip of my sheets. Grabbing a manebrush, I styled my mane and got myself presentable; I’m not a vain pony, but I do understand that appearances matter.  My vermillion mane seemed to resist taming today as though its defiance would allow me to go back to bed but it was gravely mistaken.
Having gotten ready, I swung by the mess hall. Immediately upon entering the cafeteria, the loud
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Literature
The Conquest of Space- Part 2
The Conquest of Space: The Saga of Dawn Sparkle
Chapter 2: These are the Voyages of the Starship Magic
   The brilliant white light began to fade as the bridge came into focus. I looked around at my fellow officers, all in various states of daze and confusion due to the sudden interstellar transport. Joe, in particular, wore a wall-eyed expression that reminded me of a certain pegasus mare back in Ponyville. I took a moment to regain my composure and looked out the main viewing screen. Only black space with glowing, twinkling stars met my gaze.
“Helmsman, why have we stopped? This is not the Orion Nebula.”
“That is correct. I don’t know we have stopped ma’am.”
“Why don’t you know?” I said in a huff, “Did you find any aberrations in your navigation calculation or any other logical explanation of why we are here?”
“I have no logical explanation, but I do have a baffling explanation.”
“Explain, B
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Literature
The Conquest of Space-Part 1
The Conquest of Space: The Saga of Dawn Sparkle
Chapter 1: Space, the Final Frontier
   Have you ever been on a starship? I can tell you it is the most terrifying and amazing feeling I have ever experienced. There are but a meter or two of thick steel, bulkheads, wires and magical shielding between you and the vacuum of space. A rogue meteor or asteroid could end you, your friends and your ship in one fail swoop. But there also is a great awe and power to be felt here, like nowhere else. This amazing machine was built by pony, griffin and dragon teamwork to travel the stars. Nopony would have thought that Equestrians would one day be able to leave their planet behind and go to another. Nopony would have thought that Equestrians would be able to meet other races, alien races, and spread the magic that is friendship well beyond the borders of my beloved planet. The stars beckon; let us explore them, anon!  
I am Dawn Sparkle, daughter of Twilight Sparkle, soon-to-be captai
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Activity


Her hooves thunder against the ground as she races against the stallion. She pours more and more effort into each gallop, trying to get an edge. Faster and faster she charges, nimbly dodging tree and bush. She’s almost there. She can see the old cottage, their finish line come into view but something isn’t right. A presence.

“Hey, Karl. Do you hear something?” a well-built lumberjack says to his coworker, chainsaw in hand.

“Yeah, sounds like a horse galloping nearby. Odd, I don’t recall ever seeing any in this forest.” His mate, a more lanky, but still strong enough to wield a chainsaw of his own replied.

She screeches to a halt, dirt and loam flying everywhere from her sudden stop. Her mother always warned her of humans; they cause nothing but trouble and leave nothing but destruction. The stallion thunders on to win and lets out a whinny of victory. She quickly shushes him, but he’s too proud to listen.

“What’s that in the distance?” Karl asked.

“Hmm? I don’t see anything.” Fernando replied.

The centaur knew what she had to do. Apparently the veil that protected her forest was weakened as these two men were demonstrating. She reached out with her magic to protect her forest. It swirled and swarmed around her, vines and thorns growing from the earth encasing her hooves and biting into her flesh, issuing forth blood. But the magic was still not yet satisfied. It took more, and more, growing higher and higher until it took from her her life, just as her mother before her. Such is the fate of guardian of the last virgin forest.

“I swear I saw a nude woman on horseback for a second there, way back in the trees.” Karl claimed.

“Oh, are you that desperate for a woman that one just manifests in the forest?”

“No!” he pauses for a second coming up with an excuse, “Heh, I got one back home.”

“Oh, you mean that call girl?”

His face reddens half in anger, half embarrassment, “Shut up and get to work.”

And with a hearty laugh from Fernando, they both attempted to start up their chainsaws and get to work, but something truly magical happened. Grasping vines erupted from the ground and yanked the chainsaws from their hands. Terrified, the two men ran from the forest and it was declared from then on that that forest was off limits for lumber harvesting due to unforeseen circumstances.
She eyes up her opponent. He’s tall, dark and dangerous;
A worthy adversary.
She studies his movements. They have a practiced ease about them.
He is ready to make a move.

Her talons dig into the ground. The first to move, loses.
So lost in anticipation she almost doesn’t notice his approach but she’s ready.
“So, what’s a cute harpy like you doing in a rough place like this?”
“Cuteyouareum,Iermdateyeswouldyou?”
Nailed it.

He just laughs. A beautiful, wonderful song that melts away her nervousness.
“I saw you eyeing me from across the room. Seems it was mutual. Care to kill a few brain cells?”
She nodded vigorously, blushing and nervously preening her wing feathers out of habit.
And thus a friendship was forged over some awkward glances and a few drinks.
So I'm going to start an ambitious project, well for me anyway. Inspired by foxymorongarden's (foxymorongarden.deviantart.com…) Inktober challenge and  Beedalee's ( Ai-Bee's 30 Day Monster Girl Challenge by Beedalee-Art ) fantastic 30 day monster girl collection, I'm going to try and write a short story or poem about each type of demi-human listed in the challenge for the entire month of October. All works must be at least 3 stanzas or two paragraphs. 
The Conquest of Space: The Saga of Dawn Sparkle
Chapter 8: Star Trot- The Next Generation
   The white flash subsided as Equestria prime came into view. Despite being to space several times, I still found it amazing to see my home planet as a small blue marble. But introspection is for a different time.
“Stardust, anything on the sensors?”
“Negative, captain.”
“I don’t like this. To quote a movie cliché: it is quiet, too quiet,” Royal asserted.
“Actually, captain, I am getting lots of radio and video transmissions on the comm.” Unremarkable contradicted.
“What are they saying and who is sending them out?”
“They are coming from all over Equestria. The Griffin lands, the Buffalo plains, Cloudsdale, Canterlot, Ponyville, Las Pegasus….”
“I get it. All over Equestria. What are they saying?”
“Equestria is under attack from changelings from space.”
“So, the invasion has begun already. We are too late.”
“Maybe not, ma’am. I initially found nothing after our first sensor sweep, but after remodulating the sensors, I found something; there is a faint signal near ESC headquarters that is not of an Equestrian origin.” Stardust claimed.
“Bed, get us in range. Royal, arm the torpedoes and prepare to fire. Joe, coordinate resistance and relief efforts with the ponies below. Stardust, you, the Shirt brothers, and I will storm and disable the ship. Should I not come back, the Magic is yours, Joe.”
Stardust protested, “I’m hardly a good fighter. I’ll just slow you down.”
“You are the brightest mind on the ship and I will need that intellect to figure out how to stop the Chitin. Not all battles are won through brawn. Brains have a place too.”
“If I may, the captain has no place on away missions. I should go in your stead.”
I glared at Joe, “You objection has been noted, but I am going.”
Placated by my answer, Stardust and I raced out of the bridge toward the shuttle bay, where we were greeted by the Shirt brothers, already decked out with shock sticks and wing blades.  A quick visit to the armory got us decked out in spacesuits, shock sticks and other necessities. The whine of energy slammed into the ship shields sending cargo and ponies flying over the cargo bay. A pair of twin explosions shortly followed, then silence.
“Enemy ship appears disabled. Good luck, Dawn.”
“Thanks, Joe.”
The raiding party filed into the swiftest shuttlecraft in the hangar and with a whoosh of vacuum and the hum of engines, we sped toward the Chitin ship. Soon the cursed ship came into view and I was surprisingly underwhelmed. It was approximately the same size as the Magic, with boring black and grey gunmetal sides. It had the look of a catamaran with twin hulls connected by several bridges and a pair of glowing engines, one in each hull.
The shuttlecraft landed into the Chitin’s ship shuttle bay. I cautiously stepped out to an empty shuttle bay. An alarm klaxon sounded in the distance, but not a soul greeted us.
“This isn’t right. Something is off here.” Red Shirt remarked.
“Come on. Maybe we got lucky and caught them off guard. Let’s move.” I commanded.
My companions and I walked through the hollow, empty halls with weapons at the ready, twitching at the slightest sound. Our silence was soon broken by a metallic sound over the intercom, “Intruder alert. Intruder alert. Ponies on the ship. Fire on site, considered very dangerous and of malicious intent. All officers to the bridge and all crew to battle stations.
Just as the announcement finished, a Chitin appeared in the hall in front of us, phasing out of what I thought was a solid wall. Quick at thought, a charged and tackled the space changeling and held my shock stick to his throat.
“Please don’t kill me! I’ll help you! I hate the Chitin as much as you do.”
I pushed the stick closer, “What would you gain by helping us? Why should we trust you?”
“I was a spacefarer once. The Chitin attacked my ship and I took the coward’s way out, I joined them. I now regret that decision with every fiber of my being and I’d like nothing better than sending them to kingdom come.”  
I stared into his eyes, into his soul and I felt he was being sincere. So I granted mercy, “Ok. You can join us, but one false move and I will not hesitate to strike.”
He gulped, “Duly noted. Where are you trying to go?”
“Main engineering. I hope to send the core sky high.”
“That won’t be easy. It’ll be the area with the most crew, mostly due to the lack of power and lack of ponypower seeing as most of the crew is planet-side reaping, raping and pillaging. However, they are not as good of fighters as shock troops, hence why they are here.”
“So, let us create a diversion and pull them out of there. Then we can overload the core.”
“Reckless, but it just might work. What did you have in mind?”
A few minutes later, we reached the ship’s armory where two Chitin stood guard. I nodded to the Shirt brothers as they double-teamed the confused guards and took them down with wingblades with timed precision. Our posse walked over the limp bodies and grabbed as much weaponry as we could and set that which we couldn’t carry into overload. A fantastic, deafening explosion then rocked the hall as we evacuated the area and barreled toward main engineering.
Using our newly captured weapons we killed any who got in our way with bolts of blue, green and red energy. Most were in shock and barely got a shot off, but some returned fire, barely missing my friends and myself. Even after everything they had done, I still felt sorry as I saw a look of pure terror in the eyes of my victims. It sickens me to see such wanton death, but it couldn’t be helped and I could worry about the ramifications later.
We arrived at main engineering with a bang as we blasted open the main doors. We entered a fierce firefight as bolts of energy bounced back and forth. The Chitin started to overcome their initial shock and pinned down my group. Thinking fast, I lobbed a grenade toward a maintenance catwalk and sent a Chitin to his death. The temporary distraction allowed my teammates to advance, but not before the Shirt brothers suffered grazing blows.
Over the din of battle, I shouted, “Stardust, Chitin ally, can you two overload the core? I’ll cover you!”
The Chtitin turncoat galloped over to a nearby panel and started poking buttons and indicated Stardust to follow. I soon lost track of them as I fired shot after shot at our attackers to keep them busy and off of our sappers.
For what seemed like ages, I saw the Chitin fly off, dodging blots as his gossamer wings fluttered through the sky toward a panel near the top of the core. Stardust stood at the ready waiting for his signal, when a Chitin warrior immobilized Stardust by taking a potshot and burning a hole just below her cutie mark. She screamed with agony as the sound resonated throughout the massive chamber.
Seeing my teammate, ally and friend wounded so, I went into battle rage. I charged up my horn as I fired off shot after shot, melting metal and flesh alike. Soon the room was silent as my friends and allies looked at me with fear in their eyes and I overflowed with hateful rage.
“Is it ready to be destroyed? I want this ship blown up NOW!”
The Chitin turncoat weakly said, “With the power out, the self destruct will have to be set off manually. Someone will have to stay behind.”
“Then what are you waiting for? Get out of here!”
“But, captain!” Stardust said with tears in her eyes.
“This may be our only opportunity. This ends now. Go, all of you! I’ll give you ten minutes. “
“But ma’am!” the Chitin pleaded.
“NOW!” I said in my best impression of the Royal Canterlot Voice.
My friends understood and the threesome galloped with Stardust carried on the Chitin’s back.  I glanced at my HUD in the spacesuit as it counted down ten minutes. I reflected on my life. I recalled my parents, the day I discovered my cutie mark, the day I met Joe, Royal, Stardust and all of my other officers. I remembered my time in Ponyville and Canterlot. I recalled the many friendships and some of the hardships I’ve had to face.
I slowly cantered over to the panel where a blinking red icon read ‘Initiate self destruct sequence and core overload?’ A large red button was labeled to start the explosion. The timer went off and I took in a big breath of air and released a sigh.
“It would appear Royal was right after all. It would seem a clearly marked red button ends it all.” I said to nopony in particular.
I slammed my hoof down on the button as an annoying computerized voice signaled the countdown to the end of the ship and myself.
A mechanized voice crackled over the intercom, “You may have bested us this day, but we will be back, little pony.”
“Come and take it, Chtitin,” I said with a smug grin.
A disembodied head suddenly appeared next to me. “So this is how it ends, eh?”
“Discord?”
“The one and only.”
“Why are you here?” I asked, quite confused.
“Only to see off one of the greatest heroes of our time. I’m sure you mother would be proud. If she could only see you now.”
“I’d rather not have my mother on an exploding ship right now.”
“But you don’t have to be here right now. You could be on a beach, or the mountains or even your quaint hometown of Ponyville.”
“What do you mean?”
As I looked to where the agent of chaos was, there was but empty air. It suddenly dawned on me what to do. I focused on the locket and concentrated all magical power on it. My vision became filled with explosions and the white wash of teleportation magic as everything went white.
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I awoke to the hypnotic beep of a heart monitor. I looked around at the hospital room in a daze, with my gaze eventually resting on my mother.
“Mom?” I said with a croaking, raspy almost whisper.
“Dawn? Oh Dawn!”
My mother proceeded to glomp me with the most powerful hug I’d ever been on the receiving end of.
“Mom?”
“Yes, honey?”
“I need to breathe. Could you let go?”
Mom let me grab sweet oxygen.
My brain caught up with the present, “How did I get here? How long have I been out? Where is my crew? Is Equestria safe?” I said in a flurry of panic.
Mom just looked at me with a gleam in her eye, “All in good time. Don’t stress. You’re here now.”
She hugged me again, without crushing my larnex, as I slowly came to full consciousness. I recognized this as Canterlot General and a gaze out the window showed some destruction all across the gilded city, but I saw ponies, not space changelings milling about. I breathed a sigh of relief.
“You gave me quite the scare. I was fighting off the Chitin at the university when your limp body suddenly materialized next to me. A Chitin almost got the best of me as I tried to go to you, but you being there made me go into overdrive and kill all of those abominations. I swore I’d never do that again, but when something threatens my Dawn…”
“You did what you could Mom. We all have regrets, but as long as we have our friends and family, we can get through it.”
“Who are you and what have you done with my Dawn. She isn’t sappy like you. Are you a changling?” she chided.
“Going to space does that to you. I love you mom.”
“I love you Dawn.”
We held each other for several minutes with a bit of crying and much smiling.
“Oh, you have some friends out in the lobby who want to see you.”
I followed my mother out to the main lobby as I saw my officers waiting there for me. Much to my surprise, even our Chitin turncoat and Cream Pie were there. Their mood went from somber to excited in a matter of seconds as I was bombarded with questions and hugs and hoofbumps.
The lobby then became dead quiet as everypony, myself included, bowed before the immortal princess Luna. “Rise, subjects. I am here to congratulate you all, but mostly our friend Dawn Sparkle. You have done us a great service that we may never repay. You have saved Equestria from utmost destruction and for better or worst prepared us for Equestria’s future in space.”
I blushed, “It was nothing princess.”
“In light of your stellar performance, I extend a hoof to join me in the Lunar court and by extension the head of ESC. We could use a resident expert on aliens in our court.”
“If it is all the same to you Luna, I couldn’t take a desk job, at least not yet. The stars beckon and I must heed their call.”
“I’d expect nothing less.” She paused for a second before adding, “All hail Dawn Sparkle, savior of Equestria!”
The room then erupted in cheers as I smiled at my friends and family. Friendship is truly magic.
The Conquest of Space: The Saga of Dawn Sparkle
Chapter 7: To Boldly Go Where Nopony Has Gone Before
   It is a race against time. The Chitin ship is nowhere to be seen, my friends are dying and Equestria might be in danger. I barrel on through the empty halls of the Friendship making as much haste as I possibly can with my companions panting by my side and the deformed, unconscious and brainwashed Cream Pie held in my telekinesis as we rush to the shuttle. I pant a sigh of relief as the awaiting shuttle comes into sight. I take a second to catch my breath before signaling Royal’s shuttle.
“Royal here,” he said grimly. He then looked up at the view screen and his mood improved ever so slightly.
“What’s your status?”
“I lost a good pony today. Yeoman Grip. He was one of the best.”
“Losing ponies should never be easy or normal, but we are facing a potential crisis here. Equestria isn’t prepared to handle this and we may be our homeland’s only hope.”
“Now you sound impossibly grim and besides, the princesses and Discord will show these ponies what for.”
“Even so, the prophesy claims...”
“You are going to believe the prophesy delivered by a crackpot god of disorder and chaos? Come on now,” he chided.
“Royal, true or not, there is a clear and present danger. I’ll cut to the chase, is your team and the survivors ready to go?”
He stiffened and saluted, “Yes, captain.”
“Then let’s return to the Magic.”
“Understood. Underway now.”
With that the commlink shut off. I punched a course in and HAL obliged to take us back to the Magic.
A small reception was prepared in the shuttle bay as we landed with ponies milling about and congratulations on a job well done all around being given out by my crew. I thought about chastising those responsible and make a scene, but I decided to give my crew a moment of merriment before the ominous task that lies before us, namely the defeat of the Chitin and the saving of Equestria.
I gathered my officers on the bridge and asked them their opinions and recommendations on a potential plan of action.
Royal was the first to speak, “I say we shoot first and ask questions later.”
“But we don’t have lethal ship borne weapons. The worst we can do is incapacitate the enemy vessel.”
“Then we send in a demo squad and activate the ship’s self destruct! It always works in the movies.”
I deadpanned, “In case you haven’t noticed, this isn’t a movie. There isn’t a clearly marked red button to self destruct and the enemy changelings won’t all be terrible shots.”
“How do you know that it isn’t the case?”
“Stop arguing with me!” I seethed, “Your plan has been considered. A direct assault is foolhardy, but it could work, I’ll give you that.” I paused for a second before asking, “Any other ideas?”
“Maybe we can interface with Cream Pie and find out data about the other race’s ship. What did she call it… the Chitin, right? Yes. The Chitin ship. Maybe they have a weakness,” Stardust proposed.
“I like this thinking, but it is unknown if she will be conscious any time soon or cooperative.”
“In all honesty, you are probably the best pony on board to interrogate her, due to your past friendship.”
“I don’t know. The Chitin implants seemed to have overridden her natural personality and she seems to just be angry and vengeful. Is it possible to remove them Honeycrisp?”
“I wouldn’t recommend it; it could be direr than Aunt Orange showing up to the opera in revealing lingerie, eh?”
“You will have to tell me that story some other time, but I see. The implants cannot be removed or else she may die. Got it. Anypony else?”
“We could salvage Chitin tech and reverse engineer that into better weapons and armor to use against them,” Valkyie proposed.
“I like that plan, but we may have but a few days, maybe a week and even with around the clock crews, we would not get anything functional by the time we need to engage the Chitin. But, if we defeat the Chitin and the Magic is in one piece, then I would propose that plan to my superiors back at ESC. Anypony else?”
“I have an observation, more than a plan,” the pony at communications said.
“And who are you?”
“I’m the pony who works comm.”
“I know that. Your name?”
“Unremarkable Background Pony.”
“Seriously? That’s your name?”
“Yep. I’m absolutely average in every way. This does make it easy to forget me, but I can assure you that I can perform admirably in any circumstance.”
“Ok, Unremarkable, what is your observation?”
“Moral is low across the ship.”
“I know that, but how is this relevant?”
“As you are aware, the core and thus the engines run on friendship and love. With both at low levels…”
The realization dawned on me, “…we won’t be able to make the teleport jump to Equestria.”
“Bingo.”
“Bed-o-win, how long would it take us to reach Equestria with our current thruster levels?”
“A little over a week, captain.”
I said with a sigh, “Plot and input the course.”
“Aye, aye.”
“Joe and Royal.”
“Yes, ma’am?”
“I want you to pick and prepare combat teams. Prep them with weapons and the prime them in the use of lethal force. Also offer condolences for the deceased and disabled. Help those ponies find some closure.”
“Lethal force?” Royal asked. “Condolences?” Joe asked.
“Yes, gentleponies. It would seem that the nature of engagement has changed for the worst. If we don’t stand up and protect ourselves, Equestria may well follow. Remember your loved ones and your friends. Do this for them.”
The two stallions looked at me for a second with conviction in their eyes and I felt a slight flutter in my heart. They turned and walked out the bridge doors and I let out a sigh.
“Captain.” Valkyrie called from her console.
“Yes?”
“I got a slight increase in power just now. It seemed to coincide with your speech to Royal and Joe. It is much too close in timing and significant to be a coincidental fluxuation.”
“Wow. Maybe a good ship wide speech can get us home. But that still leaves the question of what we are going to do when we get there. Based on our options, I’m going to pay a friend a visit. Stardust, and Honeycrisp come with me. Valkyrie, you have the conn.”
“Aye, aye.”
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
Cream Pie lay before me restrained on an operating table in the medical bay. Her once very beautiful features were now hidden under hardware and a cold, black exoskeleton. It was hard to believe my friend was underneath all of that.
“Stardust?”
“Yes ma’am.”
“Could you interface with her eyepiece? Maybe we can get a fix on the Chitin ship or some other useful information out of it.”
“I’ll give it a try.”
I waited half an hour for Stardust to establish the links, which ended up in a massive spaghetti of wires and cables attached to various monitors.
“Are you ready, Stardust?”
“Yes.”
“Honeycrisp, wake her up for me.”
The doctor injected Cream with a stimulant and she quickly returned to consciousness.
“A still intact ship, emotions to feed on, working systems.” She tugs at her restraints, “Restraints. I’m a prisoner. Must be prepared for torture and coercion.”
After watching this strange exchange, I spoke, “Hello, Cream Pie and welcome to the Magic.”
“Mrs Dawn Sparkle, my mortal freinimy. It would seem that you seem to have captured me and wish to gloat over your victory. You may have stopped me, but you cannot stop them.”
“Tell me more about them.”
“I cannot tell you much for you are our enemy now, only that we are powerful, wise and unstoppable. Thousands of races have been enlightened though contact with us, and we merely wish to learn more. It is a cultural and technological exchange that will transform Equestria.”
I responded with barely contained anger, “But at what cost? To be a cyborg like you, bent to the will of the Chitin? To lose yourself and who you are? To lose your ability to love, to be friends? What cost is too high?”
“Dawn, you are clearly past redemption. The ponies of Equestria will join us or suffer the consequences. There is nothing you, your crew or your princesses can do about it.”
I switched to a much sadder tone, “Cream, I once called you a friend. I once held you in high regard and wanted to be like you. Cream Pie, the pony who was the perfect poster pony of efficiency, intelligence and resolve. The most decorated graduate of the ESC and the favorite star-captain of Celestia herself. You had morals, emotions and friendship once. It pains me to see you throw them away so easily. You may not be physically dead, but you are dead to me. Goodbye, Cream.”
I looked at my former friend one last time. The cyborg returned my glance and we locked eyes for a second. I searched for a remnant of my former friend and caught a glimmer of moisture in her eyes, but in a moment it was gone.
“If there is nothing to be gained by diplomacy, violence is the only answer!”
Cream then proceeded to break her restrains though sheer brute force. I called for security as Cream took on a defensive posture. I pulled out my shock stick and go ready for action, but just as security arrived, Cream collapsed into a heap. A quick survey of her body found a large needle sticking out of her shoulder and a worried yet satisfied look on Honeycrisp’s face.  
Honeycrisp stated the obvious, “I think she’s stable and should be moved to the brig for the time being.”
I responded in kind, “Security, escort Ms. Pie to the brig.”
“Yes Ma’am.”
The burly ponies dragged Cream out of the infirmary, leaving me with Stardust and Honeycrisp.
“Well, mares. What did you get out of that?” I asked
Honeycrisp said, “That you are a good orator and I get the feeling that Cream is in there somewhere, if only we could reach her.”
“What did you learn, Stardust?” I asked
“I was able to gain limited access to their database. Based on my browsing and observation of Ms Pie, it would seem that my initial theory is wrong and that they do not need constant contact with the mass consciousness to be effective and that individuality is retained to a degree. I also confirmed that Equestria is the next target. I cannot confirm or deny if there are other Chitin ships or if the one that besieged the Friendship is the only one. Based on pure inference, it would appear that their ships are able to ‘cloak’ that is hide in plain sight by blocking certain wavelengths of light and I think that if we can hit them, our EMP torpedoes may be effective, but that might just be me thinking optimistically.”
“That is very impressive. Excellent work,” I responded.
“Just doing my duty to Celestia and country, to help other ponies and to obey the law of the snack.”
“I was a Celestia scout! I never knew you were too. Want to do the scout hoofbump?” Honeycrisp asked.
The two mares proceeded to do an elaborate hoofbump with a chant. I facehoofed at my officers’ antics.
“Need I remind you that lives are at stake? Let’s get back to work.” I said with an annoyed huff.
“You are such a killjoy” Honeycrisp chided.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I left the silly ponies and prepared my speech. After an hour of writing, it was finished and I walked into the bridge. All ponies and griffin present looked at me with anticipation. All were worried and all were a bit scared. I couldn’t blame them; this week was more than a bit overwhelming.
“Unremarkable, prepare the public addressing system.”
“Most ponies call it a ‘PA,’ Ma’am.”
“I don’t care if they call it a loaf of celery muffins, could you please get it ready for me? I need to boost morale one speech at a time.”
His expression dropped a bit at my admonishment as he fulfilled my request.  
I took a deep breath and began to speak,
“Crew of the HMS Magic, swiftest ship in the Equestrian Space Command fleet, this is your captain, Dawn Sparkle, speaking. This week has bucked us and bucked us hard. We have gotten though Discord’s antics, First Contact and the aftermath of the attack on the Friendship. I won’t lie to you, things look bleak. The Chitin ship is headed for Equestria and we may be the only hope for our beloved planet. Our adversaries have taken our fellow cremates from us and threaten our very existence, our very being. They do not come to love and tolerate, they come to conquer and manipulate. They are scary, menacing and dangerous.
But we are better than them. We have the magic of friendship in our hearts. We have each other; we have our friends, our family, and our planet. I want you all not to think of yourself as a pegasus, unicorn or earth pony. I want you all not to think of yourself as a buffalo, drake or griffin. I want you all to think of yourselves as the brethren of the hoof and claw. We can do this; all you have to do is believe in yourself and each other. We are strong! We are mighty! We are Equestrian and nothing can take that away from us. So, I ask of you to open your hearts and let us go forth and love and tolerate the shit out of the Chitin.”
All was quiet on the deck for a minute or so. I thought my words fell upon deaf ears and I started to lose hope, but then somepony on the deck began to stomp their hoof. Then another joined in, and then another. Soon, the sound of hoof falls and claw-claps resounded through the ship. I beamed with pride as I felt the waves of magical energy coalesce.
“Captain, we are receiving a power surge. Even putting everything I’ve got into the engines, we are going to have a problem,” Valkaryie said with sudden alarm.
“Then pump it into shields and weapons, we are going to have a fight when we get there.”
“Aye, aye. Diverting power.”
“Mr. Bed-o-win.”
“Yes ma’am?”
“Take us to Equestria prime at full speed.”
“Understood.”
A blinding white flash engulfed the bridge as we prepared for our date with the Chitin.

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marcuscenturian

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Kmicicowa Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2017
Thanks for the fav ^^
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TheFelineAlchemist Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Many thanks for the watch
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Thanks for watching my gallery:D
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Thanks for the watcho XD
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MightyRaptor Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2017  Student Digital Artist
hi Tyrunt gif Tyrunt gif Tyrunt gif 
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Thanks a lot for the +watch :hug:
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Thanks for the watch!
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Thank you for the DeviantWatch. I'm glad you like my work!
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Hey there!!
Thanks for the watch!! X3
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