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Adventure 1: The Bronze Eagle
Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:03 pm
The Bronze Eagle, a smaller Merchant Mareine airship, is from a far-off country. It finds itself dead in the air as it comes over Equestria, the tailored weather making this bright day completely calm. The crew are, obviously, annoyed by this.
A thin, black Pegasus pony paced back and forth over the deck, obviously annoyed that her airship had lost all steam, and had now, finally, after a half hour of slowing, come to a complete and utter stop. "What is this madness!" she cries, putting her face in her hooves, despairing of her current predicament. "Why is all the wind gone! WHYYYYY!" The Pegasus flapped around, flitting from one side of her ship to the other, noticing that there was absolutely nothing pushing them in any direction, at all.
Meanwhile, somewhere up in the calm, serene clouds, somepony could hear something causing a ruckus. The days had been too peaceful in Equestria recently, and a ruckus was one of those welcome things for Blazing Star. Rolling over and peering over his cloud, he inspected the airship from afar, sucking on his teeth thoughtfully. Possibilities went through his head and a wolfish grin went across his face as he considered what sort of ruckus he could cause.
Clicking his teeth together as he came up from the cargo hold, Thunder Dasher attempted to not let his face lax into its customary glare as he found his employer pulling rather unnecessary dramatics in this disturbing predicament they were now in.
Coughing a couple times to make sure his voice would be somewhere close to the realm of pleasant when he spoke, Thunder yelled from the top of the cargo bay's ladder at Breezy. "Captain, any idea how long the weather will - ah - be having mood swings like this? Our time is precious here and some of our more sensitive cargo is already looking to be a bit of trouble!"
"If I knew that, then I wouldn't be worried like this!" the Pegasus snapped back, landing back on the deck with a bit of flair. "From what I can tell, the currents pulled us over the great forest and into the land beyond, which, I don't recognize, at all." The pony trotted over to the edge, and found a conveniently placed looking glass mounted to the railing, which she used to look down at the ground. "Yeah, It's all unfamiliar from here..."
Still watching afar and listening, Blazing Star had put a couple of things together based on what he could hear: They were obviously not from around here, and it sounded like they were carrying something important, based upon the more shrivelly looking pony's chatter.
The land beyond. No air currents, no recognizable land marks. Thunder's face immediately failed in his attempts to hold off a frustrated glare. Turning slightly away from Breezy, the smaller Pegasus hoped his Captain hadn't noticed yet and therefore wouldn't immediately jump down his throat or thump a few hooves against his noggin.
"Well, everything down below has at least stayed in proper order - unlike up here - Captain. So, where ever we are, I don't see me having much of a job at the moment. Now, I know I really don't fly fast - ah - certainly not as fast as you. But, you could stay with the ship and I could go see if we might have some help nearby."
"I'll think about it. Perhaps we can get Brassy and Bratty to try and bring us down to the deck or something-" the captain returned, before being interrupted.
And that was the magic word: 'Help'. He thought for a moment what he could contribute to the situation, but his talent for causing short, sharp bursts of speed probably wouldn't assist them in the long run. He thought about who else might want to assist... Fasthooves? Thunderclap? No, no, they had talents too similar to his. Might as well suss it out and see what sticks. He thought as he emerged from his cloud as flew towards the deck of the Bronze Eagle. "Hey!" He said before getting too close.
"Ahoy! Who goes there!" The black captain-mare called, flapping off the deck once more and up toward the newcomer, Blazing Star. "My name is Breezy Tradewinds, and this is my Airship the Bronze Eagle, we seem to have gotten lost... do you have any idea where we are?"
Really not from around here. "You're in Equestria, and I'm Blazing Star, Equestria's top pyro-flier." Well, only because he was the only pegasus crazy enough to fly whilst on fire, but he loved what he did anyway - even if it did forbid him from flying with the Wonderbolts, "What's wrong with the boat?" He looked at it up and down and couldn't see anything obviously wrong.
"Well, we can't fly without any wind, and for some reason the air currents kind of died out as soon as we crossed the edge of that forest back there," Breezy motioned toward the dark line that she called the Great forest, but Blazing Star would know as the Everfree Forest. "And now we can't get anywhere, there are simply no currents, up, or down."
Thunder Dasher actually managed to crack a weak smile as his Captain had flown past him to meet the stranger before he let his wings droop back against his sides and sat down to wait for any orders after Breezy returned from her chat.
Poking one hoof against the floor in frustration the drab bodied Pegasus muttered to himself as he waited. "Of course, Captain. Having real crew deal with this problem would be the proper course - who would ever need some slow winged quartermaster out on deck or in the skies... preposterous..."
"Well, in Equestria, us Pegasi are able to keep a track of the winds and keep things calm, but I can see why its causing you trouble." He nodded as he recanted the reason why Breezy wasn't going anywhere. He then clapped his hooves together with an idea. "Tell you what, bunker down for a bit, and I'll see if I can get the others to whip up enough speed for you to get going." Then his curiosity kicked into second gear now that he was looking at the boat, "What's on this thing anyway?"
Breezy looked back at her Airship. "Why... I forgot, actually. Thunder Dasher back there is in charge of the manifest," she pointed a hoof to the slow, grey Pegasus who now stood on the deck of the ship. "Just basic supplies and some cargo, I think. stuff to sell, you know."
"Why not sell some of it here? It'll make it easier to get this thing off the ground when I get my friends over." He looked over to Cloudsdale, just a little ways northeast of Ponyville's town center and up in the air. "I'll see if I can get Thunderclap over. She'll know what to do."
"Well, thank you, Blazing Star, I suppose it won't hurt for us to put down right here?" Breezy asked, not sure if where they were was the best place to set down or if she should wait till they could move the Eagle first. Blazing Star looked down at the area. Seemed to be a stretch of clear land that was fallow, and not too far from Ponyville proper. He nodded in reply before settling down on the deck, having grown sick of flying in one place. He tucked his wings by his side and looked around.
The deck wasn't really that large- maybe fifty feet long, and about twenty wide. Above the deck, the Balloon, or rather, the envelope, as it was a dirigible, stretched at least double that each way, giving the deck a bit of shade. it was all made of wood, and looked to be both well-used and well-kept, though a few planks couldn't help but creak and groan underhoof.
As Breezy settled down next to Blazing Star, the local Pegasus would notice three other Pegasi- the aforementioned Thunder Dasher, and two other ponies, a large, chestnut Pegasus with a braided, dirty-blonde mane, and a very small, slightly blue-green pony with a pale pink mane and tail.
"That's Thunder Dasher, and those two are Brassy Aire and Bratty Brambles." Breezy explained, pointing to each pony in turn.
She definitely didn't eat her alfalfa! Blazing Star thought when she saw the half-pint Pony, smirking to himself. The other two didn't seem all that interesting to him, but he pondered what one would do with a name like 'Brassy Aire', "Pleased t' meet you all. I'd like to stick around but I'd better go get some help now - like I promised."
He then heard the sound of flapping wings further away, and he turned around, smiling, "Oh, Thunderclap!" A blue Pegasus mare with a long, unkempt blonde mane, and short tail. If you looked carefully, her left ear was missing a small portion. Her expression was stern.
"Finally found you. You're supposed to be at flight school!" She landed on the deck with a start, and small crackles of electricity lined her wings as she tucked them to her side. Blazing Star could be seen groaning and rolling his eyes, "You're already on probation, I don't know what else they could throw at you!"
Thunder Dasher had been just about to greet the friendly newcomer who had been nothing but helpful to the crew of the Bronze Eagle when a second Pegasus came roaring up, lightning adding pizazz to an entrance already charged with quite a few feelings.
Going from slumped and a bit melancholy to annoyed and determined in a few seconds flat Dasher took a few steps towards Thunderclap as he flexed his wings. Touching the tips of his wings together once, twice, and then a third time behind his back the small Pegasus let rip an ear ringing clap!
"I'd rather like to think that he'd be thanked instead for helping out a whole crew of strangers who have no idea what-so-ever where they have ended up - and seemingly for the moment no way to get anywhere else than here!" Frowning and letting his wings fold tightly back against his body Dasher's glare turned up full force as he practically blanched with a bit of anger. "And I'm sorry to say this, but I am not sorry at all for my current attitude. This is a rather taxing predicament and you have been rude to our as of yet only source of help!"
Blazing Star was caught off guard by the sudden noise and bounced on his hooves in fright, letting his wings open up and small motes of flame appearing for just a moment as his wings rubbed against his body. Thunderclap was not phased by the noise.
Thunderclap raised an eyebrow and looked at the Airship she'd landed on, realizing that she was too focused on Blazing Star to see the bigger picture, "My outburst was not directed at you, but I do apologize for my conduct towards you and your crew. However," She looked over to Blazing Star, whose wings had just extinguished themselves, "I'll see if I can get you leniency for good behavior."
"Thank you - and I did the Flight Exam twice already."
"You were on fire." She meant literally, to which Blazing Star smiled and nodded. Thunderclap looked to the crew and asked, her tone calm, "That aside. What seems to be the problem?"
"No wind for their airship." Blazing Star was quick to explain, "We need to give them a kick start out."
Coughing to get the two local pegasi's attention more politely this time, Dasher shook his head. "I'm no navigator and the Captain isn't available for the moment - she has some matters to attend to below deck in her cabin and will be back when she is ready - until then I would rather not have the ship moved into any natural wind stream." Trying to soften the situation up a bit the grim little Pegasus popped his best grin. "Who knows where we would end up then, eh?"
Blazing Star scratched his mane and frowned, "Oh, yeah. I didn't think about that." Thunderclap rolled her eyes at him. To her, good behavior wasn't always smart behavior.
After giving Thunderclap another short glare for her attitude towards Blazing Star, Dasher gave the first local pony a lopsided but more natural smile. "That's quite alright, I'm just a bit on the overcautious side. Now, since we are stuck here for the moment, is there anything we should know about where we have ended up? Any sort of official that might need to come by and do a pass over of our cargo? Anything the populace - or the two of you personally - have needs or wants of?"
Blazing Star shook his head, and Thunderclap seemed calm, "Well, if you're passing through, you are welcome to stay for a little while I try and find some time in the wind schedule that's advantageous to you."
"Yeah. Come to Sugar Cube Corner, best milkshake for miles!" Blazing Star was happy to interject. Seriously, the pink Mare at that place made the best milkshakes and smoothies.
Thunderclap nodded, it was one of the few things she and Blazing Star agreed on, "We're fairly laid back with traders passing by, but if you feel the need to have your cargo examined, I could call Box Brown and have his team help you."
It was about now that those on deck would realize that Breezy, Brassy, and Bratty had been busy, with the terrain swiftly ascending toward them- or was it the obect they were standing on descending? Suddenly, they would feel a bit of force as the airship began to slow down for a smoother landing, Breezy returning from belowdecks, making a passing gaze at Thunderclap before flitting over the edge of the airship to guide it down to exactly where she wanted to.
With a gentle bump, the Bronze Eagle touched down, coming to rest evenly on her keel, and Brassy and Bratty got to the business of tying it down, while Breezy came back over to those on board. "Thank you for taking care of our guests, Thunder Dasher," Breezy said, half sarcastically, having heard the noise that he had made. She settled down in front of Blazing Star and Thunderclap, bowing her head slightly in greeting. "Welcome to the Bronze Eagle, I'm Breezy Tradewinds, Captain of this vessel. I've met Blazing Star here, what might your name be?"
"Thunderclap, Wonderbolts Candidate and Cloudsdale Flight School's best and brightest." She answered succinctly with an upwards nod of respect towards the roving crew, "I trust that my colleague has not caused any mayhem?"
"C'mon," Blazing Star cooed, "You always think I'm up to no good!" He tapped his front hoof against the deck twice. "You stick around here, I'll try and get the-"
"I've got better access to the Wind schedule than you do. I'll check it out." Thunderclap replied, her eyes narrowing a little and her wings unfolding for flight.
"No, I will!" Blazing Star shot back, as his wings unfolded in emotion. They accidentally rubbed against his body and ended up coming alight.
"Whoah there! None of that! Do you not notice the large flammable thing over your head?" Breezy butted in, headbonking Blazing Star in the hopes of putting him out. "Why don't you both go together, so we can double check the schedule?" she then suggested, wanting very hard to put her muzzle in her hooves at the density of those two localponies.
Blazing Star was knocked over onto his side and his wings promptly extinguished. He blinked a few times before scrambling to his hooves and making a face of worry, "Oops."
"Fine. I'll keep an eye on him," She tapped her hoof against the deck in Blazing Star's direction, "Up and at them, Blazing Star."
"Alright..." He groaned before flapping his wings and taking flight before Thunderclap could lead him. She took off after him and she could be heard yelling directions at him and his flight technique - which although theatrical wasn't all that efficient.
"Well!" Turning back towards Breezy with a slight look of astonishment on his face. "The pair of them together seemed friendly enough. I guess we should be back on our way in just a slip if all things schedule out correctly."
"Also, Captain, not that it is my place to say, but -" Dasher turned his head away from Breezy at this. " - I'd say your little bout of bonking shows that I might have had suffecient need to make use of my - ah - short crack earlier."
"You were just making noise to get attention," Breezy pointed out, "I was trying to prevent our livelihood from burning to the ground." She stamped around, noting that she'd probably have to clean the deck of the slightly darkened spot where Blazing had landed. "In any case, I'll be glad if we can get going sooner rather than later."
Dasher glared for a few seconds and gently tapped his wings together a few time before shrugging as best as a pony can. "Is that so? You are probably right."
"And, yeah, though I hate to say it Captain, but if this layover here is anymore than a day or two we might need to off-load and sell some of the more perishable goods we brought along with us before we go."
"Is it that the Cargo will perish, or is it that we're running low on Bits?" Breezy asked, making it apparent that she didn't exactly pay close attention to the handling of money aboard her craft.
"To be honest, it is a bit of both. The last run we made didn't come anywhere near the expected amount." Dasher stopped for a moment and tapped his hoof against the deck in thought. "We have a couple dozen barrels of fruit as one of the main items on the manifest - it is an assorted lot so some of it will last fine - but the more delicate stuff is already started to edge towards the lower end of prime condition."
Shaking his head and letting his mane fly about wildly for a few seconds, Thunder Dasher began again, his voice lower and closer to a annoyed mutter. "Doesn't help that all the barrels aren't of the same quality... that cheap slack cooperage on some of them just isn't - ah! But, that's not something you really wanna waste time listening about is it, Captain?"
"Huh? Something about barrels? So, in the end, Yes, we're short on Bits, and we have some.. stuff in barrels, that might go bad." Breezy recounted, having lost interest partway through Dasher's explanation. "Is that doohickey that keeps it cold running well? so long as that and the boiler are good, we should be fine, yeah?"
"More or less on those counts we are perfectly fine - a tune up could be needed soonish - but I doubt that's something we would easily find hereabouts. Besides, it is nothing that's keeping us from moving onward." Yet. Thunder Dasher added to himself amoung his own private worries.
The sound of lightning on the horizon signalled the return of Thunderclap, landing on the deck with a light crackle, followed shortly by Blazing Star extinguishing himself before landing on the deck. Thunderclap was the first to open her mouth: "I think you're out of luck. Seems like you'll be here for a couple of weeks until we can get a strong enough wind to move this."
"Well, that's lovely news..." Breezy responded, in a rather deadpan manner.
Blazing Star seemed resigned too but there were some new faces in town, and those were always fun, "Why not come to Sugar Cube Corner?"
Breezy Shrugged. "That's some sort of food place, yes? I suppose it couldn't hurt. Brassy! Bratty! Keep an Eye on the Eagle, I'm following these two loverbirds and taking the Pedant here with me!"
"No problem Captain Breezy!" Brassy responded, hopping up onto the deck after having finished anchoring her side of the ship. Bratty hopped up a bit later, looking annoyed as usual. "How comes Dasher gets to go but we don't? We were just working our tails off!"
"Now now, you two, you can rest all you want on the ship. Dasher here needs to come because he knows how to do that Maths thing." Breezy explained.
Thunder Dasher clonked a hoof painfully against his head in disbelief at hearing his Captain's reason for having him go along. Once Breezy turned towards him for comfirmation that he would heed her orders though the smaller pegasus did his best to appear like he had done no such thing at anytime or anywhere upon her ship.
He was pretty sure she didn't buy it.
Despite this, the blue maned pony just let out a little sigh, and flexed his wings so he was already hovering in the air. It was odd to be flapping about in absolutely no wind at all, but he had to admit it made controlled flight quite a bit easier. "When ever you are ready Captain I - ah - well, I'll be right behind you no matter what happens I guess."
"Wha-?!" Blazing Star gasped, his face going red as he tried to keep his wings tucked in.
Thunderclap remained quiet, and took a sidestep away from Blazing Star - who followed suit and made his own sidestep, "Ehm..." She mumbled while looking away from Blazing Star, who was looking out at the Everfree Forest.
Re: Adventure 1: The Bronze Eagle
Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:19 pm
The two local ponies could be seen trotting into the sleepy settlement of Ponyville after their meeting with the crew of the Bronze Eagle. Things were hum-a-drum as the townsponies went about their daily business. Gardening, shopping, selling, moving things around or simply enjoying the pleasant sights and serene sounds that the countryside area had to offer.
"...I told you, I already did my flight exam, twice." Blazing Star was backchatting to Thunderclap on why he was taking time off rather than studying for his next exam.
Thunderclap sighed, "You aren't allowed to be on fire during the exam at any stage!"
Blazing Star used his wing to point to his cutie mark with a raised eyebrow and a deadpan expression, "Hello? Kind of unavoidable. Why do they let you crackle with lightning when you fly?"
"I earned my Pilot's Wings, since I know how to keep it under control. You are far from controlling your talent." Blazing Star groaned as Thunderclap waxed lyrical about her abilities and self control.
Well, they're great at bickering... Breezy thought to herself as she followed behind the two local Pegasi, who seemed to be quite intent on biting one another's heads off, verbally, over what seemed to be something silly. Flying exams? Pilot's wings? they didn't have such things where Breezy came from, though perhaps it was just a culture thing. Still, it was interesting to see how these two interacted, as Breezy's ship had never actually left her country before.
"So, Um, where is this Sugarcube Corner place, exactly?" Breezy asked, trying to distract the two from their arguments.
They were right in front of it. Granted, the name 'Sugar Cube Corner' was one of the few buildings that survived the vagaries of time. It was listed on the Canterlot Heritage List as a historic building, but the exact reason was something of a mystery to the general populace, "Here we are." Thunderclap said, walking through the doorway and tapping her hooves against the welcome mat. Blazing Star followed suit and was quick to find a booth.
"Well, isn't this a neat little thing..." Breezy commented, noting that Thunder Dasher had decided to wander around the town- probably seeing if there was a place he could hawk their wares to the populace.
"I'll leave it up to you two to order me something, I've got no idea what anything is in here, though it seems like I can trust what you're telling me," the dark-colored mare commented, making herself comfy by the booth that had been chosen.
"Anything in mind?" Thunderclap asked while Blazing Star was looking at a menu, "Mostly sweets, confectionery, milkshakes as mentioned," Blazing Star got his snout of the menu and smiled before continuing to look for something he liked, "And some snack foods. Chips, cabbage, daisies, alfalfa if you're trying to lose weight..."
"Do I look like I need to lose any weight?" Breezy asked, jokingly.
Thunderclap looked over to Blazing Star and gave a very slight nod in his direction. He didn't notice it. A waiter pony trotted over and asked, "Hi, can I take your orders?" His voice was cheerful and upbeat.
"One double-chocolate Milkshake, just the way I like it thanks," Blazing Star replied just as quickly.
"Daisies with Carrots and Cabbage, thanks." Thunderclap replied succinctly.
Breezy put her hoof to her muzzle in thought, looking at the menu for a bit. "Do you have any Broccoli?" she asked. The waiter nodded. "I wonder what that would taste like in a Shake..." Blazing Star raised an eyebrow, but the waiter seemed unperturbed.
"Tastes good with a bit of honey and carrots!" The waiter replied cheerfully before gathering everyone's menus with his teeth and taking them away.
"Sweet. I love Broccoli. Not only is it tasty, but it's also Green," the Airship captain commented off-hoof. "So, since we aren't likely to get any good wind for a while, is there anypony you think I'd need to talk to if I wanted to offload some goods while we wait?"
"Like I said, Box Brown has your needs covered for moving stuff around, but there's a pony at the Mayor's office, Bit Counter, she should be able to get you a license to sell as long as its nothing bad."
"We just have stuff like barrels of fruit and vegetables, and various trinkets and Nicknacks, some furniture, and the like." Breezy explained. "As much as we may look like explorers, we're just merchants..." then she lowered her voice and spoke to herself, "For the time being, anyway."
"Cool!" Blazing Star commented upon mention of them being explorers, "Find anywhere nice?"
Breezy turned to Thunderclap with a blank stare "Is he even paying attention?" she asked, as Blazing Star seemed to have focused on a single phrase and not heard the rest of the Captain's explanation at all. Thunderclap shook her head in reply.
The Waiter came back with just what everyone asked for and placed them at the table: The double-chocolate milkshake, the Daisies with Carrots and Cabbage, and the Broccoli-Carrot Smoothie-shake. "Enjoy!" He chimed before trotting off to fulfill more orders. Blazing Star started drinking his milkshake immediately.
"Impeccable manners, that one," Breezy observed, chuckling. "Well, I suppose you don't mind if I try mine then?" she asked, taking a sip of her smoothie and finding it to be enjoyable.
Back at the entrance to the shop the door swung open and in walked a gray haired pony wearing glasses. He had a relaxed look in his eye that hinted at his thoughts being elsewhere. Once at the counter he dropped a couple of bits and ordered a cherry sundae. Then while waiting for his treat the pony glanced around and spotted Blazing Star, being the only one he could see off hand, and a new pony that he had no clue about. The relaxed look in his eye shifted to a subtle joy as he trotted over to greet them.
"Hello Blazing Star, enjoying some more sweets, eh?" he offered in greeting before turning his head to Breezy. "And unless I am mistaken you are new in town. That, or I am being rather rude."
"I don't believe you are mistaken, and so far everyone in this town seems pretty polite. I'm Breezy Tradewinds, Captain of the Bronze Eagle, an airship. We've run out of wind and had to land nearby. Pleased to meet you.... mister... Uhh..." Breezy paused as she realized she hadn't gotten the pony's name just yet. "I don't believe I've gotten your name."
"Oh! In the end I am still rude, pardon me. Steel Drafter, at your service," Steel said politely as he bowed his head a bit. "I myself am an architect and an engineer."
Blazing Star stopped drinking and started making polite conversation, "How's things? Pondering a new design?"
Steel seemed to pout ever so slightly for a brief moment after Star's question, but quickly straightened his face. "No, unfortunately. Business is a slim as ever for me here in Ponyville."
Turning his attention back to Breezy, "Real shame about your ship, Miss Breezy. Always unfortunate when one gets sidetracked."
"Well, there isn't much we can do except for wait for the scheduled winds that will take me where I need to go. Apparently the Airships from Saddlesore don't travel to this part of Equestria often enough for them to schedule good winds." Breezy shook her head. "It's probably normal to you, but it's always strange whenever folk from Saddlesore travel to a place where the weather doesn't take care of itself." She looked back up at Steel, and then realized she'd gone on rambling. "Oh, pardon me, I've gone ranting again. You said you were an engineer?"
Wheels inside Breezy's mind were turning- an engineer could probably make modifications to the ship, that might help her, and, she thought she heard something about business being bad here- perhaps she could take him on as a passenger to somewhere where he could get more business- that would give her a bit of business as well, and drum up a few more bits toward her dream.
"I won't hold rambling against you so long as you don't hold it against me if ever I start," Steel replied as he nodded in appreciation for Breezy's plight. "And yes, as a matter of fact I did say I was an engineer. I have a fondness for design, and working as an architect doesn't always pay off." Steel then motioned to his cutie that looked like a sketch on a blueprint. "Why do you ask?
"Oh, you know, it's good to know what ponies do, that way, you can talk about things they're interested in, if that makes any sense," Breezy answered, smiling. "Like, for instance, knowing that you're an engineer, I could talk to you about load forces on the hull of my airship, and you would actually know what I was saying." And you could tell me what I was saying, too, 'cause I have no idea she thought to herself.
Steel smiled a bit. "Very good point, and it is not everyday I find somepony I can discuss load forces with. Why just the other day I was talking to a new pony in town about sheer forces, and it turned out I was just rambling for ten minutes while they had no clue what I was talking about," Steel chuckled to himself as he retold the story, but soon enough his happy look dropped into one of sudden realization. "Oh dear, now I am rambling. Rambling about rambling as the case may be."
Breezy had by now begun to draw at the straw of her smoothie, though she was still looking at Steel, and nearly paying attention. She ditched the straw for a moment to respond. "Well, look at it this way, at least you aren't afraid to try and get to know somepony." She nodded at her sage observation, feeling rather good about it. "Still, You could be Blazing Star over here and be more interested in milkshakes than other ponies." she motioned with a hoof to the Pegasus in question, wondering if he had noticed.
"Oh, you can't hold it against Blazing Star, I am sure being on fire burns a lot of calories," Steel passed a few chuckles to his own joke. "But, my profession leaves me with plenty of down time between projects, so I am able to wander around and visit. Part of why I was so curious about seeing a new face."
He eventually noticed now that his milkshake was consumed, that attention was being drawn to him, "Hey, in my defense, it was a damned fine milkshake." He retorted before frowning. He was beginning to tire of being the butt of everyone's jokes when he was trying to remain quiet.
Meanwhile, Thunderclap had been eating her daisies, carrots and cabbage quietly and politely, finishing her meal by dabbing out any errant blots with a napkin. "Not even the Bridge was work enough for you?"
"Can you stop drawing attention to that in every waking moment? Seriously." Blazing Star buried his hoof in his face.
"Well, with what you do Blazing Star, ponies begin to talk for better or worse," Steel replied back in his polite tone. "At least you give many ponies something to discuss."
"Wouldn't an airship full of Pegasi showing up from over the great forest be a better subject to talk about?" Breezy suggested, noting the hostility of the situation brewing between those two. "I mean, talk about the novelty. Have any of you ever seen an airship before?" Blazing Star and Thunderclap shook their heads, then blinked.
"Actually, I saw one at a distance in Canterlot once..." Thunderclap tapped her hoof against her mouth in recall of the incident, "So majestic, but I think it looked a bit showy for my tastes."
"I hope my little Merchant ship isn't that showy. I don't like drawing attention to myself unless I need to, you know?" the black Mare asked, thinking to herself. "A very showy airship? I wonder if that was the Imperial navy's flagship, the Glistening Stallion. I heard they visited every country in the world a few years back." Thunderclap nodded, thinking that she was on the right track.
"How do they move around once they're off the ground? Do they need a push or do you use sails, which is why you need the wind?" Blazing Star asked, not all that cluey on the mechanics of an airship, since he'd never set hoof on one until today.
"Well, The big Balooney thingy on the top, called the envelope, makes a great sail, so the wind pushes on that, which is okay for slower ships. Some faster ships, like ours, have masts that add a few more sails, and help speed us up, but they're useless when there's no wind at all, and thus, we are stuck here."
Breezy shrugged, resigned to the fact that they would be stuck for a little while, at least. Blazing Star was nodding along in fascination. "Although, I have seen some mechanical windmakers on the newest ships, but they're pretty expensive to get, and none of us know how to make them."
Thunderclap pondered: "Could it be similar to the steam trains from here to Appaloosa?" She inquired, curious as to where the technology was going, whereas Blazing Star was just taking in everything, fascinated at a base level by all of it.
They're like flying clouds with better controls! He considered.
"Well, most Airships have a steam engine, or at least a boiler, to make hot air to make the thing float." Breezy explained, though she wasn't too keen on anything past that. "I can't really explain anymore, because, well, that's what Brassy and Thunder Dasher do. I just drive the thing, I dunno what makes it work beyond a certain point."
"It must be fascinating and dangerous to work with such a contraption," Thunderclap commented.
"I might play with fire, but I don't like steam..." Blazing Star circled his hoof around on the table, "I can't light myself up properly when its wet."
"That may be a blessing in Disguise..." Breezy muttered to herself, remembering those events that she had heard about many a time, which Blazing Star probably did not want mentioned again. She brought her voice back to its normal tone, and continued, "Of course, the steam isn't just going about everywhere, so you should be fine, though, Like I said before, an Airship is pretty flammable, it might not be a good idea to light up."
"Okay," Blazing Star replied sincerely. He had enough on his plate with the Bridge accident and he didn't want to add an airship to that tally. He then considered, "When you go out traveling, do you ever encounter birds?"
"He means Gryphons." Thunderclap amended.
"Birds exist," Breezy pointed out, "And yes, we do see them, and Gryphons as well, though they're not the friendliest sorts. Stuck up, I say." Breezy snorted a bit, stamping a hoof in annoyance. "Plus they like to take up with pirates, and I can't stand pirates." Blazing Star seemed taken in by the image of having to deal with pirates.
"No doubt you've had a few scraps with them, or better still - avoided them altogether?" Thunderclap asked. She had taken a courses in defensive flight and in combat flight even though they weren't all that necessary for the peace of Ponyville.
"We've had run in with the pirates. Most of the time we can outrun them, though the Bronze Eagle isn't useless in a fight. Our bigger problem is really the navy, because if they hear of pirates anywhere they tend to shoot first and ask questions later." Breezy shook her head, memories haunting her for a moment as she recalled the demise of her beloved father.
"Most of our time, though, is spent finding the wind currents that take our ship to the next port, Or in this case, finding the wind at all." Breezy contemplated for a bit, wondering just why Equestria needed to tailor their weather so precisely when the rest of the world ran just fine on its own.
"Like I said, we're due to have wind squalls in a couple of weeks time." Thunderclap assured whilst nodding her head at Breezy, "Take the time to sit back and relax a little. Having to deal with Pirates and the Navy sounds stressful."
"It's not really that bad. There's only so many airships, and we can avoid all the mess on the ocean, so really, most of the time it's pretty relaxing, smoothly sailing on the winds of the world rather than being chucked around by rough seas. I could never be a seapony, I think that would make me hurl." Breezy chuckled at the last bit, finding it amusing if nothing else.
Thunderclap looked up from the conversation and saw a clock on the wall, "Oh, heavens, look at the time." She observed, "It's getting late." The waiter shuffled over with the bill, and Blazing Star put his two bits in, as did Thunderclap.
"I guess you need to find somewhere to stay other than that airship." Blazing Star pointed out, "There's this place I've been staying in for a while, I've rented a room for long-term use."
Breezy pondered for a bit as to whether she should take up on that offer. "Well, I suppose it has been a few weeks since We've had a proper bed... Is there anywhere around here with room for four, and a baby dragon?"
"I know of where he's talking about, and he might keep his room like a pigsty," Thunderclap pointed out, prompting Blazing Star to groan, "But I can assure you that the comfortable accommodations should have room for you and your crew. If I recall correctly, there's beds, a bath, and breakfast each morning."
Blazing Star nodded to confirm these facts.
"That does sound quite nice." Breezy nodded along. "The only problem will be securing the Eagle. Not that it's going to go anywhere for a while, but we do have cargo on board, and you can't be too careful." She pondered a moment, wondering if just the locks they had on hoof would be sufficient, or if she needed something sturdier.
Blazing Star circled his hoof around the table, "Things are pretty quiet and comfortable around here, I doubt anyone would break in. We don't really have an Airship Dock though, the closest one is in Cloudsdale, just due North."
"There's an Airship Dock here too - its just that nobody's come and used it for years." Thunderclap pointed out, "And if nopony is using it, nopony will be manning it."
"So, we'll be fine if we just lock up and leave it in the field, then. I suppose we can go and get Brassy and Bratty, and try to find Thunder Dasher. I'll need Dasher to get us some bits to pay for the rooms, and we'll be good to go." Breezy figured, nodding her head at the plan. "Shall we head off, then?" she asked the two Pegasi that were with her. They nodded in reply.
Breezy got up, and turned to Steel Drafter, whom was busy eating his Sundae. "Nice to meet you, Steel Drafter!" she called out to him in a friendly manner as she walked out of the sweet shop's doors and back out into the street. Blazing Star waved goodbye to Steel Drafter as he left.
Steel had been happily eating away at the sundae that he had ordered while listening to the other ponies whom he had joined. However, the three other ponies made their way out while Steel was in the middle a a particularly big bite, and thus he was unable to properly voice his own goodbyes to the group so he had to make do with a wave.
"How disappointing, not being able to send her off properly," he said to himself as he finished his sundae. "Hopefully I will get another chance before that ship of hers departs." With a sigh and a thank you to the waiter, Steel left Sugar Cube Corner to look for something to sketch.
Re: Adventure 1: The Bronze Eagle
Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:23 pm
The Trio of Pegasi made their way back out into the fields surrounding Ponyville, Breezy flying along at a gentle pace as they headed toward the Airship, the Bronze Eagle. The ship itself could be seen in the distance, its large, rounded envelope sticking up above the scanty trees that lined the pathway at intervals, making a striking landmark which hadn't been around before.
As they approached, they could see Brassy and Bratty lounging on the deck, relaxing as they had already finished the tasks they needed to do in order to make sure the Airship was prepared to remain on the ground for a while.
"Ah, Good, They're quick, those two. It seems from here that there won't be much left for us to do when we get there!" Breezy noted, seeming proud of her crew's efficiency.
"...One two three four, check those wings thee four, excellent flying. Keep it up." Thunderclap was instructing Blazing Star as she directed him through some minor flight drills. To her surprise, it appeared as though he was improving. "Aaaand prepare to touch down!"
Blazing Star followed this order by slowing his speed, and making a slow but steady landing on the deck of the airship. Thunderclap managed a much more graceful landing. Either way, they'd touched down without a hitch, "Good work, and you weren't on fire." He smiled as the light praise came from her.
Breezy chuckled at the two of them, Practicing flying, despite them both being of an age where they should know already. Regardless, Breezy lighted onto the deck of her ship, though Brassy and Bratty showed no real signs of caring that she had returned- Bratty was asleep, lying on a deck chair with a very dark pair of sunglasses over her eyes, and Brassy seemed to be quite busy playing with a small black thing with blue spikes- Their Baby dragon Bic.
"Well, Here we are, you two." Breezy called to Thunderclap and Blazing Star. She then turned her attention to the Crew. "Brassy! Bratty! Grab your saddlebags! We're locking up and heading into town for a few days." Bratty snorted, starting, and falling off of her chair-turned-daybed, thudding on the deck despite her minuscule size. "BWAAH!" she shrieked, adding a bit to the scene that she had accidentally made upon waking.
Brassy giggled at the scene, simply nodding to her Captain and heading below decks, and leaving the dragon to wander over to Breezy. "Heya Cap'n!" the tiny scaled creature greeted Breezy, before spotting the two new Pegasi and hiding behind Breezy's forelegs.
Thunderclap let out a "Eeee!" of cuteness-induced adulation as she saw the little dragon. Blazing Star seemed similarly interested but simply gave a smile to the little dragon. They'd only seen a Baby Dragon at flight school a couple of times in passing, "He's adorable!"
"Well, Bic. Come on, Be polite! They obviously want to meet you," Breezy urged the young reptilian. Cautiously, it nodded, then made some slow steps out from behind Breezy. He looked back to see Bratty shaking herself off, and nearly ran to her, but then he swallowed his shyness and bowed to Thunderclap and Blazing Star.
"Hi! I'm Bic!" he greeted, and then ran off to be with Bratty.
"I'm Thunderclap, and this is my student, Blazing Star," She introduced herself politely and Blazing Star gave the little dragon a nod. Thunderclap seemed to have gotten over her adulation quickly, "We're locals from Ponyville."
"Its nice and quiet here," Blazing Star assured with the utmost confidence.
It was lost on Bic, who had by now gone below decks with his owner, Bratty. "Ah well, He'll get used to you guys soon" Breezy assured the two locals. "Baby dragons are indispensable on Airships, and luckily, being magical creatures, we can keep them babies almost indefinitely, so they stick around for a while!" the Pegasus explained.
"We had one at Flight School too," Thunderclap nodded, "His name was Montblanc, but its been a while since we've seen him though. We were just fillies and colts at the time."
"Maybe we should visit one day." Blazing Star tapped his hoof against the ground in concern.
"Well, maybe we can take you there once it gets windy, if we can find the right currents," Breezy offered. She turned back, and watched as Bratty flitted up toward the top of the ship- Perhaps she had left a book or something up there and wanted to bring it with her- and then she turned back to the duo on the ground.
"This Equestria place seems pretty nice, once you're past the big cities, which I must say, are universally too big in general," Breezy commented, hopping off the deck of her ship and flitting down to the ground.
"I came from Manehatten, after having to stay here, I don't really miss it that much. It's just so calm here." Blazing Star replied, "And there are plenty of ponies to entertain too, so I can earn a living."
"Ah ah, not until you've gotten your Pilot's Wings back." Thunderclap chipped in.
Blazing Star sighed, "Well, until then I've been doing odd jobs mostly. There's never a shortage of small things that need doing."
"That's good to hear-" Breezy began, but then she heard a flutter of wings, and Bratty's voice yelling down one of the squawk tubes at Brassy.
"HORSEFEATHERS! It's those Stinkin' Pirates again! Brassy! Get the engine up, we need to get airborne!" the diminutive pegasus called down to her crewmate. "Captain Breezy! We need you up here, It's him again!"
"Curses!" the black Pegasus cursed, hopping back up to the deck. She did, however, stop upon reaching it as she realized they couldn't maneuver currently. Making an about-face, she ran to the railing. "Hey, you two, think you could give us a Hoof? We need somepony to turn the ship about so we can make a stand!"
They'd only just met these ponies this afternoon. From their first impressions, they were pleasant, honest folk who made their crust from traveling the globe and trading their wares. As far as they were concerned, they were entitled to not only Ponyville's hospitality, but to Ponyville's defense.
"Yes Ma'am!" Thunderclap snapped to attention before turning to Blazing Star, "Follow my lead." She unfurled her wings and took off, with Blazing Star following suit quickly. They made their way to bow of the airship and started pushing against the large vessel, their wings beating as hard as they could.
Blazing Star was considered heavy for a stallion trying to earn his Pilot's Wings, but his stout strength was starting to show as kept on flapping his wings and pushing against the ship in unison with Thunderclap, who although more graceful in flight, wasn't nearly as strong or durable.
As they began turning the airship about, Breezy made her rounds, loosing the tie-downs that were holding the Eagle down. The envelope itself seemed to be bulging, and Thunderclap and Blazing Star could feel it getting lighter and easier to push as it went. Finally, Breezy undid the last line, and the Eagle shot up like a rocket, suddenly much more buoyant than it ever needed to be to sit on the ground, and no longer stuck down.
Thunderclap and Blazing Star would suddenly feel ropes hit them, as Breezy had tossed them overboard. "Tie yourselves in!" she called "One of you is stuck to the front, and one to the back, you'll be able to turn us quicker from farther out!"
The Pirate ship was now much more visible than it had been from the ground, but it showed that it wasn't moving especially fast- a victim of the same winds that had marooned the Eagle. Unfortunately, it was still moving despite this- Mechanical windmakers were sticking off to either side of its hull, artificially propelling the vagabond craft toward its nearly helpless target.
Blazing Star took the back rope, Thunderclap took the front. When they went to their respective sides, away from each other, Blazing Star could see the other ship and wondered - there was no wind, but it was still moving. It seemed to be using some contraption he didn't recognize to enable flight in a windless zone. "What happens if we knock those things out on the side?" He asked, out of half curiosity, and half of a plan.
"It stops moving," Breezy yelled back at Blazing Star, "But we want to scare it off, not knock it down, that would be just as big of a problem around here." She pointed out. Breezy and Bratty could be seen on deck, running around to various points and stamping on the seemingly uniform deck- panels opening up, and a tick-tick-ticking noise hinting at clockworks below deck, and several black cylinders on mounts ascended from below - Steam cannon that they could use to fight from a distance.
"Alright, You two, spin us just a little bit more to the left, that way we can get two of the guns at them before they're too close!" the Captain ordered.
"You heard her!" Thunderclap yelled, "Move it and mirror me!" She started flying and pulling the rope to the left, while Blazing Star was pulling in the opposite direction, creating a strong leftwards pull. This certainly wasn't a drill or a routine that he'd ever see in Flight School or College, but Blazing Star was definitely digging it and putting his hoof down to follow Thunderclap's lead, there was danger in the air!
And the danger suddenly became all the more real, as the other Airship issued a loud hissing boom, obscuring its deck in a temporary cloud of steam as a smooth shiny black globe whistled through the air toward the Eagle. Luckily it came up short, whistling by below the Eagle, to eventually thud into the ground below, causing a poof of dust and dirt where it landed.
"Alright! Keep us steady" Breezy ordered next, carefully aiming her Cannon, as Bratty did the same on her side of the airship, as well.
"Oh, and Don't move, Thunderclap!" she added, as their two cannon emitted two similar hissing booms from their own cannon, the cannonballs whistling a bit closer to Thunderclap than she may have liked, but, just like their enemy, the two shots were a little low. Breezy and Bratty loaded their cannon again, though this time with something other than the standard balls, and adjusted their aim.
Shortly after the two cannon balls whizzed past her, Thunderclap saw it fit to inquire:"What in Celestia's name was that?"
"Whatever they are, they look like they hurt like a kick from Luna!" Blazing Star quipped as he stopped pulling in one direction and started slowly pulling in the other to make the ship stable before stopping and staying stationary, but watching the cannonballs come flying from the other ship. He didn't know what they were either, but didn't like the look of them at all.
More Boom-hisses, and the next volley from the Pirate Airship whizzed just above the Eagle's Envelope, missing again. "Thunderclap, I need you to drop below the airship for a bit!" Breezy ordered, seeming happy with her current aim.
"Quickly!" She added, in a hurried tone.
She quickly dropped down, but didn't exactly see the point as to why immediately since airship combat was an entirely new avenue for her, but pulling ropes wasn't.
BOOMHIIIISSSSSSHHHH! the two cannon on the Eagle went, but unlike the two deeper whizzing noises from before, there was a multitude of higher-pitched whizzes, much like angry bees, leaving a trail of something or other as whatever was fired broke apart into many, smaller balls- and began pattering all over the other airship, splintering little bits of its wooden hull, and even poking a hole in its envelope, which caused it to suddenly drop, its next volley missing by a mile, crashing down into a small cottage below, crushing the roof and causing it to collapse in a heap.
"Yahoo! We got 'em!" Bratty cheered, happy with the result as she reloaded her cannon once more with the grapeshot, mirroring her Captain. "Alright, I see them turning about!" Breezy observed, and indeed, the enemy airship was starting to turn about, having obviously not expected such staunch defense from a merchant vessel.
"Alright, Thunderclap, One more time, could you fly up top, we have to fire down now!" Breezy asked, somewhat more politely.
Thunderclap was blinking and rubbing her ears in shock. She'd never heard a sound like that in her life. It was like a thunderclap and a large boulder falling together followed by a swarm of hornets. "WHAT?" She asked as her hearing returned.
"Up!" Blazing Star directed before adding: "That. Was. AWESOME! Do it again!"
She nodded in reply and started flying back upwards, instead following Blazing Star's lead since he'd obviously liked the noise.
Again, the Cannon fired off, the hiss of steam not sounding quite as loud this time, but that didn't matter, as firing down was easier- The grapeshot pattered all over the Pirate Ship's envelope, and gouts of steam could be seen coming from all over it, as well as hundreds of splinters flying off the Airship's hull as it now made all haste toward getting away from the Eagle, whom now had the high ground as well as the greater armament.
"Good Job, Guys!" Breezy called out to Thunderclap and Blazing Star. "You guys can land now, I think we've scared them off for a while! They'll be going slowly, nursing their wounds as they try to escape, now!"
Blazing Star came back on deck and kept his wings open with a smile, clearly hot off of the energy of the battle, "Whatever the hay that was I wanna try it one day!"
When Thunderclap came back on deck, she seemed to be rubbing her ears, pressed flat against her head, and even using her wings to try and shield her ears from any future reports, "Ugh, no, please. That was dreadful enough in skilled hooves."
Breezy stamped on the deck a few times, and Brassy emerged from below decks, appearing to be covered in soot, or something. "Steam pressure's low, but holding, Ma'am!" the larger, more Buxom mare reported, and Breezy grinned at her information. "That's fine, Brassy, we beat 'em" Bratty confirmed, and Brassy mirrored the Captain's smile, then Bratty dismounted her gun, looking pleased with herself.
"We should thank these two for keeping us alive, I think." Breezy said, pointing to Thunderclap and Blazing Star. "Without them I don't think we would've been much more than sitting ducks."
"Thanks a bunch!" Bratty blurted, with Brassy giving a much more refined "Thank you!" to the two, bowing a bit. Behind the trio of the Eagle's crew, Blazing Star could see the two Bow cannon, which were issuing a small amount of steam from the front of their barrels, as well as dripping a bit from the condensation - it was obvious to Blazing Star now that those were the source of the noise and destruction.
Blazing Star kept his wings open as he accepted the praise for his work. Thunderclap, after regaining her composure simply crossed her front legs and bowed down with a smile, happy to help. Her feathers were all ruffled by the steam and the noise, so her graceful image was somewhat underscored.
Bratty and Brassy giggled at Thunderclap - her ruffled feathers at the noise and steam of the battle was quite funny to them, seasoned crew as they were. Breezy noticed, and turned toward her crewmates, politely snapping at them "Hey, why don't you two go and stow the cannon, instead of sitting here laughing like foals!"
The two Mares straightened up and hopped to, scattering and hopping up onto the contraptions, the sound of clockworks being forced into reverse being made as they pushed the things down below the deck, locking them down, and then closing the semi-hidden hatches that kept them cleanly out of sight most of the time.
Blazing Star looked over the deck and noticed something, clacking his teeth together and folding his wings back in with a frown: "Ooooh horseapples." He pointed towards the cannonballed cottage.
Thunderclap trotted over to what Blazing Star was pointing to and blinked, "Oh dear."
Breezy followed, looking down as well, and got a good little surprise. "Well, that can't be good... I don't suppose we'll be expected to pay for that... I mean, It was the Pirates' fault..." Breezy looked around, and then called to her crew, "Bring us down, we have a little issue, and I don't think we can help from up here..." At once, the two other mares set off to work - Bratty huffing at being made to work more after having just had done the same thing not long before. Brassy, on the other hand, didn't seem to mind, going about her duties in good cheer, despite whatever her captain may have hinted at.
"Don't worry, you have two credible witnesses." Thunderclap assured, trying to keep a good face on the situation, even though Blazing Star understood that a cannonned cottage was still a cannonned cottage, regardless of who fired shots.
Re: Adventure 1: The Bronze Eagle
Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:50 pm
He woke to the sound of a constant clouting of hoofsteps.
And then he saw it.
Well, actually, he saw nothing. Sunny Hardwood saw little, because he was covered in the debris of his fallen house. Dreary eyed, he looked side to side, before shedding his coat of wood and shingles, pushing his field-worked frame out of the mess with all four hooves. He was still drowsy from the night's rest, as it had been a good one. With a yawn, he thought about the previous day, how productive it had been. There had been a light storm, enough to volt up a few shocker sugar barrels and reverse the polarity on a bucket of magnet berries.
Clop clop clop clop clop! There was that clouting sound of hooves again... My, everything was much brighter in the room than usual, and breezy. In fact, it was awfully messy as well.
And why did his horn hurt so badly? He need to whip out a Feel-Good Potion for that, daises and calm cherries.
Sunny blinked his eyes a few more times before his blurry vision started to focus on something swaying in the corner of his room. It looked as if it was the thing causing the clopping noise. With a few more blinks, he noticed it looked a lot like his niece, Snippy Heartwood. In fact. It was Snippy!
"Snippy!" Sunny yawned, rubbing a little bit of dust and sleep out of his eyes, "What are you doing up there? That's dangerous, you know."
Snippy swayed side to side, her hooves bouncing off against the wall in her flailing to get her vest unhooked from a broken edge in the way. She looked side to side, rather helplessly. "Umm... Un-Uncle Sunny... I didn't put myself up here..."
"OH AND, I guess you'll want me to believe it was the BOOGIEMARE?"
"N-No! I mean the..." Snippy curled herself up, as if tucking for warmth, "I mean... the house..."
And that's when he really saw it. At first, there was a small, curious look about, as if he really couldn't see what had happened. He looked back at Snippy, who just swayed helplessly still. Sunny yawned a little bit, before noticing that his window hadn't actually got bigger, nor was it just open. It was destroyed. In fact, for that matter. He was on the first floor and not the second, as his bedroom usually was.
"Uhm... U-uncle? Are yo--"
"MY HOUSE! WHAT HAPPENED!? MY HOUSE IS IN MORE PIECES THAN A DANDELION! WHY IS MY HOUSE-- SNIPPY WHY IS OUR HOME DESTROYED."
"C-...c--" Snippy began to mumble, a little dreary from sleep herself.
"C-cannonball..." The little filly pointed her tail towards a large iron ball sitting in the corner of what used to be their living room.
Sunny gave that ball of iron a calm look, before looking at Snippy, who looked at the cannonball and caught her uncle's gaze. She found herself assisted with a bit of levitation magic on to the floor. "SNIPPY, GO CHECK THE MAIL."
"But the mailpony doesn't come until lunch time."
"WE DIDN'T CHECK IT YESTERDAY."
"Oh... Ohkay." Snippy trotted off, and as she exited the house, a cannonball exited the other way, as if fired from a cannon.
As Sunny suddenly began to yell his surprise, the occupants of the Bronze Eagle, despite their current altitude, were quite privy to the noise. Breezy winced, her ears drooping down in embarrassment as she realized that their battle had resulted in the destruction of somepony's house. Only a few moments later, the Eagle touched down, and Breezy hopped off her ship and onto the ground, ready to trot off to make sure everypony was okay. "Anypony coming with me?" she inquired of Thunderclap and Blazing Star. They nodded as they looked over the deck. Blazing Star whistled at the damage now that he had a chance to inspect it a little more closely, and traded a worried glance with Thunderclap and Breezy.
"I don't think we can resolve this overnight," Blazing Star stated, with a rare burst of insight into the situation.
"Well, The least we can do is help, it is kind of our fault that their house is broke" Breezy pointed out, trotting toward the house, and watching as a tiny filly came out of one end of the house, and the cannonball that caused the damage flying out the other side of it.
"Hello, there, Little Filly!" Breezy called, a slightly embarrassed grin on her face. "Is everypony okay in there? we were, uhh, passing through and saw your house get hit..."
Snippy's head snapped over to one side, in Breezy's direction, offering them a brief glimpse of her red, pupil-less eyes. In her mouth, a small stack of mail. Under that small blanket of hair, she stared at the approaching ponies. She turned her head back to the door, and looked toward the grassy ground, rubbing one hoof over the other shyly.
"ARGGGHAGH...!" roared a bellowing stallion, before a bathtub went sailing off into the distance with two hoof prints glowing in its sides.
"Ughm..." Snippy started with a mouthful, before mumbling something unintelligible, apparently failing to notice the flying tub.
Thunderclap was about to jump down when she saw the bathtub go flying by. She froze up and gave a glance to Blazing Star, who simply shrugged and jumped down, wings open to soften the landing. He landed with some dignity and looked at the damage a little closer, "It wasn't our fault, honest." He stated, staying behind Breezy and on the lookout for more flying furniture.
Snippy just rubbed the dirt with her hoof once, before backing away from the group. There was a short moment where she seemed to be weighing her options, before she just turned around and ran back into the house. A dining table traded her pathway as soon as she walked in.
"That one was definitely your-" Breezy cut off mid-sentence as a table suddenly decided to move swiftly in her direction, at which point she simply hopped out of the way, tumbling sideways, her wings pulling her up into the air to increase the distance away from the object, while keeping her from rolling on the ground and getting dirty. Blazing Star wasn't nearly as lucky, instead ducking under the table. When the table sailed past, he could be seen lying on his chest with all of his legs out and his head against the ground, and his wings tucked to his side.
"As I was saying..." Breezy continued, not at all put off by the flying object, " I do believe she ran away because of you, Blazing Star." The stallion simply gave Breezy a glance and a raised eyebrow. "What? She didn't look afraid of me!" the black Pegasus defended herself.
"I'm just going to stay out here..." Blazing Star moaned, "I bet there's a kitchen sink just waiting to meet me."
And out came a kitchen sink, sailing over their heads this time. Blazing Star rolled his eyes as the kitchenware came sailing over his head. Still, the sound of bucking and crashing kept up until one of the walls came apart at the force of two hooves. There stood, before the three of them a tall Unicorn. His mane, his body, even his tail was an earthy red color of clay and ruddy trees. Like the Filly, he had pupil-less eyes, hinting more of a connection beyond the familial resemblance.
The only quality they didn't share was the horns. The little filly's horn was sharp as a nettle, while the stallion's was... broken off half-way.
"YOU DON'T LOOK LIKE ANY MAILMARE I'VE EVER SEEN." boomed the red unicorn. Snippy stuck her head out from behind Sunny's rear most leg, carefully hiding herself.
Breezy's Goggles had somehow made their way onto her face, covering her eyes from the onslaught that was Sunny's yelling. "Well, Umm, you see, I'm not a Mailmare," she explained briefly, regaining her composure and looking over what was left of the house after the cannonball and then Sunny's Rampage. "We were coming to check and make sure Everypony was okay in this house, so, umm... Is Everypony okay?"
Blazing Star got back up on all fours, and dusted himself off, smiling as he tried to put on a brave face, now confident that the flying furniture had ceased.
"OTHER THAN A FEW BRUISES, NO. MY HOUSE IS A WRECK, MY HYDROPONICS ARE CRACKED, AND I'M SURE PART OF MY FORMER DOMICILE HAS LANDED IN THE GARDEN. EVERYPONY IS NOT ALRIGHT." resolved the unicorn, loudly. Snippy looked out from the other side of her uncle, specifically at Blazing Star. "AFTER MOVING THE BATHTUB, I CHECKED MY SEED NURSERY, AND IT TURNS OUT THATS BEEN DESTROYED TOO."
"Oh. Umm. How much will that cost to fix?" Breezy asked, trying to sound calm and casual. apparently the larger unicorn was quite distraught, as he was ceaselessly yelling. This seemed to put off the normally composed Breezy- she was certainly not used to being constantly yelled at, unless you counted Bratty's complaining, although that had nowhere near the volume or force of this unicorn's yelling.
"YOU WANT TO KNOW?"
"Uhh, Yeah. I mean... I'd like to help, If I can." Breezy decided that at this point it might not be the best to explain exactly what happened, though she knew that all it would take was this Unicorn calming down and stopping its yelling, and then she would probably be able to do so. "I mean, Everypony's in this together, right? it's only right that we help each other in need."
"SNIPPY, HOW MUCH IS THE HOUSE WORTH?"
Snippy looked down at the floor, mumbling.
"ACTUAL VALUE, NOT RESALE."
The Filly just mumbled again, rather shyly. They couldn't hear a thing she was saying.
"EXACTLY RIGHT," Sunny turned back on Breezy. "IT'S WORTH, THAT MUCH."
Blazing Star just looked at Breezy and decided to save face by keeping the lower part of it shut as he watched the events unfold. Meanwhile, above, Thunderclap was watching, and then jumped off and flew back towards Ponyville. She couldn't hear the conversation save for Sunny's booming voice, and knew that she had to pull in a little extra help.
Breezy rubbed her hoof against her chin in thought. "Well, I suppose we might just fix it ourselves, and save a few bits..." she pondered, watching Thunderclap fly away. Oh great, she knows we're up a creek without a paddle, and she's ditching us before it gets bad... breezy thought to herself, realizing that nothing seemed to be calming the Unicorn down. Although. He didn't LOOK angry at all, he was just yelling incredibly loudly.
Dasher couldn't believe what had happened, he had negotiated hard with the local merchants and gotten the best possible rates a foreign seller could get if they wanted to use the town square. But, by doing so, he had missed an airship battle. Brassy probably had been able to take care of any mechanical problems that might have arose - but, well, even the dullest pony didn't reject all possible excitement!
Worse yet though, there was a pony talking to Breezy about market rates and sales values. Putting on an extra burst of speed as he flew toward his Captain, Dasher barely noticed as he passed Thunderclap, and then the small Pegasus groaned as he heard an extremely loud, extremely bad sounding crack just between his wings.
The force of the sound burst sent the drab colored pony tumbling through the air and threw him down to the ground in a skid ending right next to Breezy. Groaning once more Dasher didn't even bother getting up and just tucked his wings against his body.
"Quartermaster reporting back in for duty Captain."
Breezy's head turned as she heard a familiar crack, and then watched Thunder Dasher tumble, first to the ground, and then along it, finally coming to rest next to her. "Well, if it isn't captain Droll. What took you so long, Thunder Dasher? We had a battle, and well, there's this now..." She motioned to the destroyed house and its... former... occupants.
"Hmm, nothing quite as exciting as the business you found." Dasher had sprung up to his feet after the crash with a practiced ease. "The pull here will be much better than I had hoped for Captain - if my thoughts are right we should get out of here half-a-hold lighter and silly enough in profit that even Bratty won't be able to complain."
Dasher then looked about at all the wreckage that had been Sunny's house and let out a measly thunder clap with a frustrated twitch of his wings. "Or, that was what I had been hoping to be able to report before I saw all this. You know we aren't the Navy Breezy; we are actually responsible for any damages made in our wake - no matter the reason."
Meanwhile, Blazing Star could see help coming over the horizon, and he gave Breezy a nudge, "I think we're in luck!" He pointed out the other shape coming in the distance. He was able to recognize the flight pattern of the loopy Pegasus, but he was more interested on the Earth Pony up in the distance.
"Yes, yes, I know" Breezy whispered to Thunder Dasher. "I'm doing what I can to help, I don't want to be hated here. Then we would never make any profit, but, well, you know." she pointed a hoof at the house again, before turning back to the owners of what was until recently a house, and striking the conversation back up.
"Well, Mister... Umm.. I never did catch your name..." Breezy realized as she tried to think of what to call the earthen-toned stallion in front of her. "Anyway, it seems like help is coming, or something." The black mare thought for a moment more before finally asking, "What is your name, anyway?"
"SUNNY, MY NAMES," Sunny leaned forward, "SUNNY HARDWOOD." He then stepped to one side, revealing the small filly standing behind him, who took a few seconds to notice she was no longer in cover, "And this is my niece, SNIPPY HEARTWOOD."
Snippy looked up at Breezy with a hurt looking expression, before prancing behind Sunny again to hide herself.
Blazing Star blinked a couple of times, now face to face with the volume of Mr. Hardwood's voice. However, he tried to make a friendly smile, and hoped that Hardwood's sneezes didn't blow buildings down or something. Meanwhile, Thunderclap could be seen moving ahead with the other Pony in tow, she was now visible to the group under the twilight.
As he approached the scene, Steel slowed down to a light trot as he began to catch his breath. After some labored breathing the architect felt capable of talking without wheezing. "My my, this really does look bad," Steel said mostly to himself as he went about analyzing the damaged home. "It would be quite a project to fix."
After some more cursory investigation he turned his attention to the group that was already present. "Hello, all. Pardon my dropping in."
"Hey, it's that Drafter pony." Breezy noticed, waving a hoof at the grey stallion, before getting back to the situation as she heard his initial prognosis. "Well... That doesn't sound good..." She was now getting slightly worried. "Well, Mister Sunny Hardwood, How does a new house sound? You didn't lose anything special inside that one did you?"
"YOU KIDDING!? I HAD A LOT OF STUFF IN THERE." declared the loud stallion, throwing his head up in the air. "DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH IT COST TO MAKE A HOUSE THAT WAS PROPERLY MATERIALED FOR BOTANICAL STUDY!?"
The large unicorn bucked back-and-forth, throwing his front and back up and all over as he hustled towards the house. "HYDROPONICS BAYS, SEED NURSERIES, MAGICAL CONTAINMENT FIELDS, ALCHEMICAL LABORATORIES, AND MY POTATO SACKS! ALL OF MY POTATO SACKS! ARGH!" Sunny rolled around over his hoofs, bucking and agrily scuffing the soil, while Snippy followed him around, trying to keep him between herself and the others.
Thunderclap eventually trotted over to Blazing Star's side, and the two exchanged glances. Blazing Star's glance indicated that things were getting very much out of hoof, Thunderclap gave him a nudge and pointed towards Steel Drafter.
"But he makes things out of metal. Houses aren't made of metal only!" He whispered to her, exasperated.
"Shh! It was the first thing that sprung to mind!" She used her rump and bumped into Blazing Star's side to knock him off balance, causing him to shut up and roll with it, "Better than nothing anyway!"
Nodding to Breezy Thunder Dasher tried to not let his sigh show from to tip to tail of his small frame. "Of course Captain, I'll go find as much information as I can to assist you."
Clopping his way over towards some of the wreckage the quartermaster's drab coat turned an ashy grey as he got a good look at some of the more expensive - and all decidedly squashed - equipment lying among the mundane bits and pieces that made up every home.
Sliding up to the only other pony that seemed actually interested in examining the damages in detail Dasher nodded a greeting towards Steel Drafter. "Drafter was it? Thunder Dasher -" the Pegasus motioned towards the airship in front of both ponies. "- the Bronze Eagle's Quartermaster. You seem to have an eye for all this, and while I got a good bead on material costs while wandering town earlier, I have no idea what labor costs are in this area."
Catching the glint of another piece of wreckage - one of the magical containment fields at that - Dasher decided that there might just be no profit at all for the trip here - Bratty is going to be quite the hassle. "No less what it costs to bring in some of the special stuff in from the cities. We'd appreciate your help where you can."
After he had finished most of his inspection of the exterior of the house, Steel was approached by a rather short Pegasus. "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Dasher," he responded to the others introduction. "And yes, I am Steel Drafter. I am an architect here in Ponyville. Admittedly this is the first time I have seen a house that has been this badly damaged, so the best I could offer is a rough estimate."
With that said, Steel bumped one of the pockets on his vest, knocking out a sketchbook and a pencil. With pencil and book in hoof Steel began to write up the estimated cost of what it would take to repair Sunny's home, and after calculating out several numbers the architect showed the Quartermaster the estimates; which happened to be quite substantial.
"WHAAAAAT. THAT'S MORE THAN WHAT IT TOOK BUILD." replied Sunny as softly as he could.
Breezy was glad her coat was black as she blanched at Sunny's reaction to the quote. if it sounded that bad, she would have to think of something quick- How could she pay back this Unicorn properly? Obviously it was going to be expensive, but she didn't exactly know what to do. Then, had she been a Unicorn, the dark-colored Pegasus would have made a lightbulb appear above her head. Not being such, she instead came up with a plan.
"Mister Drafter, is it true that it would be considerably cheaper to build a new house for Sunny here?" she asked the architect quickly.
"Build a new house?" Steel repeated to himself before scribbling some more numbers into his book. "For the most part I would say just tearing this down and starting over would work best, unless of course there is some emotional value of course."
"Right, so it would be cheaper. How about, Sunny Hardwood, I pay to get you a new house, and while it's being built, perhaps you can travel with us so you can pick out your equipment direct from suppliers, and maybe we can find some more exotic plants?" She shrugged, not knowing if the idea would work or not, but it was the best she could come up with given the situation.
Thunderclap was inspecting the damage to Sunny's horn, and frowned. It looked as though he needed a medic Pony too. She left Blazing Star's side and started looking for the other part of the horn, hoping that it was intact. She knew it was possible to have one re-attached if it was broken. Otherwise, it'd grow back on its own, in months.
"WHY, THAT SOUNDS SWELL. I COULD REALLY DO WITH SOME TRAVELING NOW THAT MY HOUSE IS in PIECES." said Sunny, pressing his words there for a second, before looking around at the half-wrecked home. His worlds also seemed to ring a slight of sarcasm as well, as if he didn't genuinely believe the mare. "AND JUST WHAT DO YOU DO, MISS CROW MCHELPFULHOOVES?"
"!" Thunderclap gasped upon spotting something amongst the wreckage, and picking it up with her mouth. It was the other half of Sunny's horn. She trotted back over to Sunny with concern in her face and put it in front of him, then stepped backwards slowly and steadily. She wasn't used to moving backwards.
Sunny looked at the nettle sharp horn, one just as sharp on the point as Snippy's. He stared at it for a moment, looking Thunderclap in the eyes, and then at the horn again. The shock couldn't show well on his eyes, as he had no pupils, but his lids pulled back in fettering shock.
"SNIPPY! YOUR HORN!" He turned to look at Snippy, about to rant and rave on the Filly's ailment, before realizing that her horn was perfectly fine. She looked down at the ground, and scuffed a little dirt before looking up at her Uncles horn.
There was a short silence between the niece and uncle, an unsaid communication there.
"AAAAAUUUUGGGHHHH! MY HOOOOOOOORN!" howled Sunny, charging off through a pumpkin patch, destroying anything in his way, "MY HORN! MY HORN! MYHORNMYHORNMYHORNMYHORNMYHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORN!" He cut around and blinked out of side in a poof of red sparks, before coming out the other side in a similar fashion, still yelling. "WHATDOIDOWHATDOIDOWHATDOIDO AUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!"
"CALM DOWN!" Thunderclap commanded, raising a hoof to silence the emotional unicorn, "We can reattach it! I've seen it done!" She looked at Sunny in the eyes and gave him a smile of honesty, "Trust me, this isn't a permanent setback. All we have to do is put it back and bandage it tig--"
"AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGH!" continued Sunny, who only seemed to get louder as Thunderclap tried to thunder him down. He galloped and galloped, sprinting about as fast as his hooves could carry him until he tripped over a piece of wood and slid across the ground.
"AUUUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHH!" he yelled as he slid to a stop in front of Thunderclap before silencing the screaming all together to look up at the Pegasus, "That actually sounds rather pleasant, do we have anyone who can do that here?"
"Well, Anypony can do the bandaging, but we need somepony with a delicate hoof to do the actual reattaching, I think" Breezy noted. "And you'd have to keep very still, if my first aid training has taught me anything." She thought it over for a moment. "Or somepony could take you into town and have the hospital do it, which might work better."
"Uhm..." Snippy raised her head a little bit, after her uncle had left her to go insane for a few seconds. "I could... hold... the... " The little filly broke off into mumblings.
Steel watched as Sunny ran around, thinking to himself that this was definitely a break in his monotonous routine, but not quite what he was thinking. Then as things began to settle down again he heard young Snippy begin to offer to hold the horn in place.
Stepping forward, Steel calmly offered his own assistance. "If young Snippy would be willing to hold the horn steady, then I could apply the bandages." Reaching back he grabbed a first aide kit that was hooked to his vest and held it expectantly in his mouth.
"Uhm..." The little filly sheepishly tugged the horn from Thunder Dasher's lips, using a little levitation magic to set it down gently where it had broken off from her uncles head. The Stallion-Patient lay perfectly still, staring into space as if he had just been turned to stone. Snippy simply stood, though, her head occasionally swaying side to side, searching for approval.
After digging out the bandages from his kit, Steel approached Sunny and began to inspect the horn to make sure it was in its proper place. "Alright, looks good to me," he said at last as he gave his approval and began to apply the wraps. "This isn't too much different from repairing some axles back in my shop. Well, I suppose it is quite different in theory, but application it is right along the same lines." Once he had rambled about the similarities of horn repair to the tinkering that goes on in his spare time, Steel had applied enough bandages to hold Sunny's horn firmly in place.
"There, that should just about do it."
"HOW DO I LOOK."
Blazing Star took a look, and gave a nod of approval. Thunderclap also nodded. If the horn remained in place and didn't get knocked around too heavily, it would eventually re-attach in a couple of weeks. Unicorns were still resilient things in spite of the perception that magic made their bodies weaker.
"You're looking a lot better than you were a few minutes ago," Thunderclap admitted.
"THAT'S GOOD." Sunny slumped back, resting his head on to the side before rolling over to stand. There was a certain sense of comfort in having one's horn restored to its former glory, especially after having it snapped off completely. He patted his little Filly niece on the head and quietly congratulated her on her good work, before turning to the Earth Pony who had bandaged it up.
"THANKS, STEEL DRAFTER. THINK YOU COULD USE SOME OF THOSE BANDAGES ON MY HOUSE?" He asked, with a mild smile on his face, accompanied by the ever booming voice. Blazing Star snickered quietly to himself.
Steel gave Sunny a smile in return as his ears drooped due to the volume of the Unicorn's words of thanks. "Ha, well, don't mention it Mr. Hardwood. It was my pleasure. And oh, if only home repairs were as simple as slapping on a few bandages."
And everypony shared a laugh. It'd definitely been an eventful day as the Bronze Eagle made its landing, got acquainted with the locals, shared hardship and learned about mutual hospitality. The end!
KAI as Breezy Tradewinds, Brassy Aire, Bratty Brambles, Silver Moonshine, plus NPC's
LUCA as Blazing Star & Thunderclap, Greycloud, plus NPC's
GWATHDRAUG as Thunder Dasher
STRAKEN as Steel Drafter
KOKUTEN as SUNNY HARDWOOD & Snippy Heartwood
Re: Adventure 1: The Bronze Eagle
Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:58 am
"...get back here!" One voice could be heard streaking across the sky in a flash of blonde and blue.
"Nuh uh! This is a flight exam isn't it?" Another replied, somewhat smoking at the wingtips as he made his flight, "I figured I'd show you everything I've got!" He made barrels and spirals and swerves through the air fancy-free.
"Yes, but the examination follows a pre-set course for a reason! Get back there or I'll have you tarred and feathered!"
"You'll have to catch me first 'cause I'M ON FIRE!" He was happy to lead his instructor on a merry chase, and he was heading towards the Bronze Eagle. He did remember to be considerate and extinguish himself before he came onto the deck. He didn't know what was in the balloon, but he had to take Breezy's word for it. He eventually landed on the deck and waited for his teacher to land beside him.
"Saaaay..." Thunderclap arched an eyebrow, "What are you up to?" She looked squarely at the smugly satisfied, slightly-on-fire Pegasus beside her.
"I've made up my mind. I'm going to explore the world a little." Blazing Star proclaimed proudly, prompting Thunderclap to shake her head and sigh skyward.
Groaning, she pressed her case: "You do realise that you still don't have a legitimate Flying license, or a place to stay, or all that many bits to your name."
"I can move out of the Inn and sell my stuff." He explained, sounding worryingly confident, "Then I can get everything I need. I mean, I've been on the road all my life and I'm simply heading elsewhere."
"But, but," Thunderclap seemed taken aback and surprised by his bold move. She sighed and started to admit, "You see, I, uh..."
"You better get to selling quick, then" A voice interrupted from behind, that belonging to the black-on-black Pegasus who served to captain the Bronze Eagle. "Unless you forgot, the winds are scheduled to return tomorrow, and I heard of gusts heading toward the Great forest- what you guys call the Everfree Forest- Being scheduled all day."
The mare had donned a pair of brass-rimmed goggles, hanging around her neck, and was flexing her wings excitedly. "No offence, but I'm kinda tired of this town, nice as it is."
"I'm happy that you enjoyed your stay here," Blazing Star said, "What do you think we'll find over that horizon?" He looked over the edge of the Everfree Forest, "It'll be a lot more interesting than Manehatten, that's for sure."
Thunderclap looked to Breezy, then trotted over to her and whispered in her ear as Blazing Star contemplated the horizon, "I can't let him go. He's a danger to himself."
Breezy laughed at the younger Pegasus. "See, I don't think he is. What you have here is an invisible cage, trapping him. He needs to get out and find the true freedom of adventure, the kind of life that every Pegasus truly desires in their heart and soul." She grinned, nudging the blue pegasus as she did so. "Besides, I can tell that you need to get out a bit too, you're too stiff. Stretch your wings a little. I'd tell you to let your mane out, but it looks like it's the only thing on you that's allowed to be free."
"I'm not! ..." Thunderclap blurted out loud, and Blazing Star turned to her, head leaning sideways before shrugging and continuing to look out over the horizon. Thunderclap resumed her whisper with the other mare, "But I have duties and responsibilities here. I cannot abandon them." She looked over to Blazing Star and sighed, "I'm worried that he'll get hurt."
Breezy rolled her eyes, and put her front leg over Thunderclap's neck in a chummy manner. "Look here, Missy, what you have around here is great and all, but, it bores me to tears. And I can see that same thing in mister Star there. I mean, Look at him!" She motioned to the stallion with her other foreleg for effect.
Blazing Star flapped his wings a little to stretch, and found that he'd lit himself on fire. He had a momentary freakout and jumped into the air with a squeak before realising that he was essentially safe against his own flames. He blinked a little before extinguishing himself.
Breezy Chuckled at Blazing Star's antics, before turning back to Thunderclap. "And you know, he isn't that bad looking. It gets lonely up here with the only guy being Thunder Dasher, you know?" Breezy grinned, obviously egging the blonde mare on.
"Okay, I'd better head off and get my stuff sold. I'll be seeing you two soon!" Blazing Star announced before jumping away and heading back towards town on his wings.
Thunderclap gave Breezy an even stare. Now that the lug was out of earshot, she simply said "Mine." to the globetrotting Pony, she poked her in the side with her forehoof.
"Oof!" Spouted Breezy, stepping back a bit from Thunderclap, but she recovered with a chuckle and a grin. "That's more like it. So, are you coming, or not? Blazing Star's made his choice, and I'm not going to guide him any direction he doesn't want to go."
The wound-up Pegasus simply gave Breezy a sly grin, "You'll see your answer tomorrow."
The next day...
"...and that leaves you with four hundred bits, Mr. Blazing Star." The shopkeeper said after going over Blazing Star's home inventory, "Where are you headed, anyway?"
"Wherever the wind takes me." He happily admitted, "Now, I'd like to buy some things for my trip now that I've sold most of my stuff to you. It only makes sense after all."
"Sure. What're you after?"
"Saddlebags, some rope, a bedroll too, a lantern," He said, tapping his hoof against the counter as he listed each item, "Oh, and a journal and pen."
"Wise choices sir, that'll be ninety eight bits." The shopkeeper replied. Blazing Star seemed happy with this price, since he'd have plenty leftover in case something went wrong.
He placed the requisite sum of coins and bars on the counter, and took the items from the shelves, packing them in and wearing the saddlebag for comfort, finding that while he couldn't fly well with it on, he could easily put it in his mouth if he had to fly fast. Satisfied with his purchase, he made his way out and put the loaded saddlebag in his mouth, flying towards the Bronze Eagle.
The Eagle was quite busy with preparations. Over the past week or so, it had offloaded most of its goods, lightening to craft and giving it a bit of extra room, so that a few more ponies could fit aboard comfortably, as well as to make the Captain rather happy with the amount of bits they had gotten in exchange. Breezy, Brassy, and Bratty were all hurrying about, battening down hatches, tying the sheets, and readying the envelope for strong winds, while Thunder Dasher remained belowdecks, securing what was left of the cargo, and making sure that the books were properly balanced. Blazing Star decided to make his appearance known by landing on the deck quickly, and trotting confidently with his saddlebags in his mouth, before whipping them over his shoulder and onto his back.
"Hey! Breezy, I'm here and ready!" He announced, voice strong and eyes bright with wanderlust.
"Took you longer than I expected." The captain joked, voice slightly muffled behind a rope she was pulling taught with her teeth, before tying it around a tie-down and turning to the fiery Pegasus.
"It took a while to move all of my stuff out of my house last night." He explained, rubbing the back of my head, "So I kinda slept in."
"Ah well. Now we just have to wait for the other one. The Heartwoods are already belowdecks, so we don't need to worry about them." Breezy noted.
"Other one?" Blazing Star asked, blinking. He hadn't recalled seeing an other one. Then the sound of thunder could be heard on the horizon, making the pegasus' wings stand on end. It seemed to be getting closer and closer, until a blazing streak of electricity landed on the deck of the Bronze Eagle, poised and beautiful. She seemed to have saddlebags of her own in her mouth, but she was also wearing a polished flight armour of some sort. Protective leather behind light metal links, but it still allowed her to fly with ease.
"Thunderclap?!" Blazing Star blurted out in surprise.
Breezy was almost awed by the display, but when she saw the armor, she had to stifle her laughter, nearly guffawing at how the blue Pegasus had overdone it. Fighting back tears of mirth, she was finally able to stand straight and speak after a few moments. "You know, Thunderclap, that we aren't going out to war, right?"
She held her head up high and stated proudly: "One must be prepared for all dangers. Just like my Mother taught me."
"Wow, I uh," Blazing Star stammered, his wings tucking by his side as he regained his composure from shock, but swerved into awe instead, "I've never seen that on you before. Where'd you get it made?"
"It was a parting gift from my mother when I left Canterlot to reside in Ponyvile," She replied with ease, "I never thought I'd need use for it until now."
Blazing Star whistled, "Your parents must be loaded." Thunderclap decided to remain quiet on the issue of parentage any further.
Having gotten over her fit of chuckles, Breezy addressed the pair when they had finished. "Well, I don't think you'll need it today, unless you expect to fall off the ship. Seeing as you're a Pegasus, that shouldn't be a problem anyway." The Captain then turned away, looking to her crew- it seemed that Brassy and Bratty had finished the preparations, and just in time, too, as the first gusts began tugging at the envelope, causing the ship to groan and creak as rope struggled angainst wood, and tiny imperfections in the ship's beams made a slight sound.
Breezy's eyes lit up, an a grin grew on her face. She breathed deeply, and looked up to the sky as leaves began to blow. "Beautiful. These are the best sounds a Merchant Mareine can hear- Wind on the plains, ready to push us off to lands known and unknown! Now we can trot down the hoofless paths of the sky, finding that which everypony truly desires- Eternal freedom."
"Onwards, to whatever lies beyond!" Blazing Star whooped.
"Yes. Let us go." Thunderclap added before taking her saddlebags below deck, "Where are the stables?" She inquired.
"Hammocks" Breezy explained, Succinctly. "They take up less space during the day so we can move about easily." She then grinned, almost sheepishly, though there was a bit of pride in it. "I'm the only one with a proper hay mattress, but, that's 'cause I'm the captain, and certain luxuries are afforded me for my expertise." Thunderclap nodded in agreement. That made sense after all. Blazing Star took his bags and headed below deck.
"Is there somewhere to put our bags, at least?" He asked.
"We've got lockers along the Port wall- that's the left if you're facing the bow- the front of the ship." breezy explained, making sure to clarify some of the terms they used on board the Eagle. "And make sure you know port from Starboard, and Bow from Stern, alright?"
"Of course." Thunderclap replied, nodding knowingly while Blazing Star had stuffed what little he had left to his name into the wall locker. "I'll keep my eyes on him though, he might be enthusiastic, but I think he has a little to learn."
"I think the biggest thing he needs to do is learn to control his flames better" Breezy observed, smiling at the young pair, glad to have gotten them on board. "Aside from that, he's got plenty of skill- and besides, where we're going, he doesn't need a license to fly."
After Blazing Star had packed his gear into his locker, he pushed it shut. He stood around and looked about, taken in by the sights and sounds of the airship. Thunderclap stored her bags in another locker next to his.
"So what happens now?" Blazing Star inquired, practically bouncing on his hooves.
"If you'd like, you can come abovedecks while we launch the ship" Breezy suggested, clambering her own way back up the stairs to the deck. "Just don't get in our way!" she warned, before she began shouting orders at the two deckhooves. A flurry of activity could be heard, and indeed, from within the ship itself, another sound was heard. The Steam engine rumbled from its slow idle into full steam to make the ship more Buoyant, Clacking, clattering, chugging, and hissing as it did so.
"My my," Thunderclap said, still wearing the armour, and listening to the ship come to life. She flattened her ears in distaste, "What a noisy, terrible sounding thing." She headed above deck to listen to the wind rather than that horrible contraption. Blazing Star, however, was content to sit back and watch the steam engine do its work.
Thunderclap would arrive on deck to notice Brassy and Bratty flapping up on deck, the ends of the last two mooring lines in their teeth, before landing and dropping the thick ropes. If she were to look aft, she would see Breezy at the helm, working the controls that make the ship rise, descend, and turn. Currently, she was simultaneously working the ascent function, and fighting to get her ship positioned for a good tailwind, though down at the ground the flurries were too random, and she was mostly fighting a losing battle as she tried to learn these unnatural, pony-made air currents.
"Don't worry!" Thunderclap yelled, "I put a good word in for you at the Weather Station, if you just move over there," She pointed with her hoof, "There's an air current that'll take you right over the Everfree Forest. I can guide you since I bought a copy of today's current charts."
Breezy looked over the map and what Thunderclap was pointing to, and exclaimed "Ah! Thank you very much, Thunderclap!" she patted the blue pegasus on the back with a hoof, before continuing "It'll be nice to be back in the sky again, I was getting tired of being stuck in one place, you know?"
The mare looked over to where Blazing Star could be below decks, "I'm sure you weren't the only one."
Off to the side tunless humming could be heard coming up from below deck, and soon enough Steel emerged from the stairway. The grey pony looked somewhat lost in thought, but also rather happy. His head bobbed ever so slightly from side to side as he made dull noise. Blazing Star walked past him without thought, and stopped to do a double take.
"Well Ms. Breezy, I must say that it is very exciting to be on board, and you also have a very nice ship," Steel said as he drew closer. Taking notice of the vertical movement he perked up a little more. "Oh! We are taking off?!" he said in a very excited tone as he rushed to the edge of the ship. Flight may not be anything new to pegasi, but to a simple Earth pony every chance was a novel experience.
Blazing Star followed Steel Drafter after gathering his wits, came to rest next to him and asked, "Huh, I didn't think you'd be coming along! What're you doing here?"
"Hmm? Oh, well as it so happens Ms. Breezy was kind enough to offer me a chance to do some work as an engineer here aboard the Bronze Eagle," Steel replied the Blazing Star. "And I must say, I am very much looking forward to it!"
Blazing Star's eyes lit up, "Well! Its good to have you on board then," He put his arm around him and gave him a warm hug, "I'm sure there won't be a problem you and the others can't fix!"
"Well, I will certainly do my best with this new opportunity," Steel said back as he continued to watch as the Bronze Eagle gained altitude, and in the back of his mind going over the mechanics that made it possible for Earth ponies to fly like pegasi.
"So, where will the winds whisk us away to today?" Steel asked as he panned around.
"The Everfree forest, or as we call it in our country, the Great Forest." Breezy answered, trotting up behind the gathered Stallions at the railing. She joined them in looking over the edge, relishing in the view as the ground became farther and farther away, the things set upon it getting smaller and smaller. "When you get high enough, you can see that the ground is more than just what's near you. it lives and moves, gently folding in waves here, sharply dropping in a gorge there, and the mountains, they are so much more magnificent from up here than from down on the ground!"
Steel tapped his front hooves against the deck rhythmically out of excitement. "Sounds absolutely thrilling! This happens to be my first time flying, closest I have been to this height was in one of the tall buildings in Fillydelphia, or looking out from the wall of Canterlot. I cannot wait to see everything that I can."
As the other ponies talked, Breezy's crew went about their business making sure the ship went where it needed to go, Brassy and Bratty pulling on ropes to tighten down something and keep them on course.
"Ah! I wonder what the view looks like on the other side of the ship!" Steel said excitedly as he quickly turned around to head to the other edge. Upon turning around he caught sight of the other members of Breezy's crew that he had yet to be acquainted with. One looked to be a small, little filly, and the other was such a beautiful looking mare that made Steel forget why it was that he had turned around.
Standing very still, Steel regained his senses. "Ms Breezy?" Steel asked behind him without taking his eyes off of Brassy. Clearing his throat he continued, although sounding somewhat flustered, "Ms. Breezy, who might that pegasus be?" He then gestured towards Brassy.
Breezy turned around and looked, noting both her crewmembers were right next to each other. "What, Bratty? The little one? I wouldn't touch her, she'll shove you off the deck if you look at her funny."
"What?" Steel asked out of confusion. "Oh! No, nonononononono. No. The other one."
"Brassy?" Breezy then answered, almost question like in her tone. "She's the first mate, and in charge of fixing things if Thunder Dasher's busy." Breezy looked at Steel and then back to Brassy, and then began snickering.
"Brassy," Steel repeated in subtle reverence. Settling down a bit, Steel still felt flustered and unable to regain his usual steady thought pattern. Everything was jumbled and didn't feel like getting sorted. "Um, I feel like, ahum, that I should book in my sketch. I mean, sketch in my book. Landscapes. Or um, views, of land."
With that, Steel simply turned around and looked back out from the same spot he was just in, and just stood there. Then he pulled out his sketchbook and began sketching. Or at least, he would have been sketching if he had remembered to also take out his pencil rather than scratching his hoof against the page.
Breezy leaned over and whispered to Thunderclap "He's hopeless, isn't he?"
Thunderclap had tried to do her best not to snicker at the whole affair, but gave a very wide grin towards Breezy and whispered, "I feel a little better about myself now!" Blazing Star wasn't concealing his grin at all.
He stood next to Thunderclap and Breezy and said: "Wooooo~w."
"Oh! How silly of me!" Steel exclaimed as he began to blush. "I forgot to grab my pencil. Now where did I put it?" The flustered stallion began to search all through his vest to try and find the pencil he had tucked behind his ear, but after not finding it after checking every pocket he gave up. Then, to try and regain the composure he knew he was losing, or rather lost, he sat down with a thud.
"Must be the altitude. Thin air, and...well um," Steel said in a tone that grew gradually quieter.
"What are you talking about, thin air? We're not even a thousand hands above the ground!" Breezy pointed out, making a note that they weren't all that high in the air just yet, but, they were high enough that they had caught the proper current, and the ship jerked a little as it was caught in a strong gust, moving it purposefully toward the forest.
"I get lightheaded at thirty thousand hands." Thunderclap pointed out, having flown that high a few times before, "Any higher and I'd pass out if I were trying to fly, but in this thing I'm sure we could go that high."