- Tango with Charon - part two-
"It's the coolest thing I have ever seen in my whole live!", Rainbow Dash quipped and flew around the astounded ponies. "And I was the one who found it first! That means I can name it how I want! IT IS SOOO AWESOME"
No one replied, they still were still taken aback from the monstrous surrounding.
It were mountains. Really huge gray mountains, but not the ones they knew at home. They have got different shapes, the most common rectangular forms which stood crooked in various directions. They had all windows plastered on them, some of them revealing soft light spots which made them look like distorted starts. At the floor were different objects shattered around: poles which gave lights off as well, stone bricks at the size of a dragon, and huge metal bars which had also windows. The grounds before the ponies was made out of concrete itself. Dust was all over the place, like a carped drafted all over them. It made it look as if time has been frozen and caused the place to be covered by ice and snow. A real surreal picture, and it definitely wasn't what a normal temple would look like.
"Let's see, how about Dashpolis? Or Rainbowcity? Oh, I know, I name it-"
"Oh, Rainbow Dash, could you be quiet just for one minute?", Rarity interrupted her ego speech. Dash turned to her to snap back at the white unicorn, but stopped when she saw that Twilight Sparkle looked like as if she has seen a ghost. The violet unicorn sat on her butt, her front hoofs holding her barely, and her eyes trembled in utter shock.
"Errr, you okay, Twilight?", the blue pegasus asked her, wondering if she said something wrong.
Twilight's mind went still for a moment, something really rare for an intellectual pony such as her. But if you were a pony who studied all her live in libraries to discover the most mysterious secrets of the world, you could feel like the world you believed to know was starting to fall apart. Because the scenery she saw wasn't something she hoped to witness. She hoped for some temples, with runes to decipher and curious artifacts to study, but not...this.
"You have been right, AJ", Twilight Sparkle said aloud, but more to herself than to the pony she addressed to. "I was following nothing but a dream."
"Twilight...", started the orange pony, but couldn't finish her sentence. Now she felt guilty that she said that to the violet pony.
"All my live I studied so hard, I thought I knew everything there was to know. And now...I know nothing at all...", she sobbed softly, her face turning to the ground. The tears were forming a small puddle where the dry dirt were mixing. Everyone remained quiet, Spike hugged Twilight to give her some comfort.
"But, uhm...", Fluttershy neared the crying pony and nudged her softly with her snooze. "Maybe that's a good thing." Twilight Sparkle gave Fluttershy a glare, and the yellow pegasus meeped scared and moved backwards carefully.
"Yeah, isn't science about...errrm...proofing the otherwise?", Rarity said, trying to ease the tension.
"You mean proofing that your theory is wrong", Twilight Sparkle corrected her, her sadness being lifted a little.
"Oh, of course, that's what I mean, darling. You can apply it to your studies. All the theories are wrong, and this is solid proof! Or something..."
"Yeah, Twilight! Science is shmience, who needs that now? It's much more fun to see it all by yourself!", Pinkie Pie joined the comfort and put a hoof around the violet unicorn. Finally the violet pony felt a lot better now and smiled sheepishly at her friends.
"Thanks, guys, you are the best." She got up then and put herself in front of the others, putting a hoof into the air. "Well, what are you waiting for then? We got a secret to discover!"
And everypony, AJ included, marched towards the fallen city with laughter and euphoria. But nopony noticed that something long has been shifting deeper into the shadows of the dark cave.
"Ueegh",Rarity made a face when she watched the insides of such a mountain filled with dressed mannequins, which turned out to be a dress shop. "Look at these designs, they are soooo last century! I expected that angels had at lease some taste in fashion."
The others said nothing, too focused exploring the area they were in. Pinkie Pie looked at some worn out pictures which were scattered all over the place, some hanging at the air, some lying on the floor. She especially won interest at the ones with food on them, because that looked delicious. Fluttershy was way to scared to do something, so she just did what AJ did, namely standing around and looking at the environment with an uncertain look.
It seemed like a city or some sort. Gray streets crossed each other, its skin also gray paths, giving a geometrical ordered look despite the chaos all around. What brought Twilight Sparkles attention were those colorful little houses made out of metal which had twice the size of a pony. Some had gummy rings in the lower parts, some didn't had those rings and instead possessing big holes at one end. Broad windows were plastered all over the small roof of it. They reminded the violet unicorn of the chariots the more aristocratic ponies used for transport, but they appeared not to need any steeds to pull it.
While Rainbow Dash looked into one of those big holes, Twilight Sparkle looked into one of the windows, and gasped:
There was a skeleton inside, it's bleak claws holding something round and black. The shape of this skeleton resembled the ones of an ape, making her develop a theory subconsciously that monkeys might have descended from the angels. Or were angels monkeys to begin with?
"Errr, Twilight, didn't you said here were a temple?", Spike asked the violet pony, also looking inside the small house.
"I think I made a mistake in the translations", Twilight Sparkle replied, deep in thoughts. Then she put out her archeology tools and studied the skeleton in the inside of this house.
"Wait, so there is no temple at all?", Dash threw her question in the conversation, her head black from the ashes which were inside the holes, causing some of the ponies and Spike to giggle.
"Most likely, or I took the word temple to literally", Twilight answered, studying the size of the skull and then switching to its teeth. Everypony turned to her and frowned in confusion.
"Long ago our ancestors believed that the spirit of a passed away pony needed to be rub with ointment in order to pass to the hereafter. However, ointment was a really expensive product back then, so priests erected large temples where the dead were buried in and let the outside be consecrated with ointment."
The ponies (and dragon) didn't know what that meant, until a light shot up in Spike's head. "So wait, are you telling us this here isn't a temple but a...", he couldn't finish the question, the realization brought to much horror.
Twilight nodded her head. "Yes, it is a graveyard."
"Dammit, I knew I shouldn't come with you guys, now we will have to face ZOMBIES!", Spike panicked and run aimlessly while screaming "We're doomed, DOOMED!" . Fluttershy did so as well, and AJ trembled with wide eyes.
"Calm down, everypony, there's nothing here, just skeletons, see?", Twilight turned to the skull, only to see that it had eyes suddenly. And they looked at her directly. She screamed out of shock and jumped back, hugging Rarity who was near by. The skull then laughed and two blue hoofs put it off to reveal a certain pegasus.
"Oh man, you should have seen yourself! There's nothing here, blablabla, oh by Celestria a skeleton!", she mimicked the violet pony with the skull as if it was a hand puppet. She fell into loud laughter again, and the others joined quickly after, except one certain unicorn.
"Rainbow Dash!", Twilight seethed at her with venom. She wanted to punish the brash pony with her magic, but suddenly Pinkie Pie started shuddering all over her body.
"Ohhh-oooooooooh", she made while she her trembling body went up and down.
"What's wrong, Pinkie Pie?", AJ asked her concerned.
"My twitching is up again, I am shuddering all over. OOOOOOH-OOOOOOH!", the tremblings increased, everypony became alarmed, especially Spike. If Pinkie was twitching, it should be taken seriously.
"Wh-what does that mean?", Spike spluttered, and appeared as if he was wetting the floor any moment.
"Maybe AJ starting to believe in angels", Twilight Sparkle taunted the orange pony, remembering the last time when Pinkie was shuddering all over. AJ struck her tongue back at her in return.
"Nonononono, that's not it", Pinkie Pie said and looked around scared. "It's...something big, and ….something really really evil-devil. It is right near us!". Everypony started to pale, realizing they were in deep trouble. Fluttershy took it at worst and fell on her back out of panic.
"Oh no, not the Morlocks! Or maybe Zombies? OR ZOMBIEMORLOCKS!", Spike lost it finally and clang at Twilight's neck like there was no tomorrow. "What should we do, what should we do?"
"My twitching says we have to go in...there!", Pinkie Pie pointed at something which lead to a dark valley. The ponies did oblige and ran to the black road. They run until they crossed something big. Bigger than a dragon even.
"Errr...is dat a whale or sumthing?", AJ asked, crooking her head in wonder.
It was a giant object, the form resembling of a cross between a bird and a fish. It's long snooze stick out in the air skewed as if it was longing for air. What appeared like a lower fin holded this giant thing, added with its weird back tail which was merged with the two side flanks. Twilight lightened one side of this fish-thing and saw the letters "BEBOP" written on it.
"No time for asking this, get in there, everypony!", Twilight Sparkle commanded and leaded the group to an opening she sighed at the lower flank. The group galloped into it without any questions. They entered a dark room which lead to a stair case. Everypony panted heavily, hoping they were safe now. Pinkie Pie looked back and noticed that this entrance looked to be artificially build. But where was the door then? Then she saw the small small rift which was all around the door and an idea came up.
"Twilight, close these door-thingies!", Pinkie Pie pleaded her sorcerer friend. Twilight raised an eyebrow and turned her gaze to the entrance, then saw the rift as well. She closed her eyes and concentrated on what was inside those rift. Then she felt something with her magic and pulled it then. Sleek sharp edges came to the surface from all directions and then they closed itself together. It was completely dark then, only the headlight Twilight Sparkle had was able to give light. All the friends remained until they heard something. It were loud stomps, each of them in a long momentum. A soft growl was heard, causing the group shudder in fear. Fluttershy was hiding under Rainbow Dash's wings again who this time didn't care much about it. The ponies and the dragon were waiting until the stomps were getting weaker and weaker until it died out. When they stopped hearing it, there was a collective sight of relieve.
"Are we...are we safe now?", Twilight Sparkle asked the pink pony, still having butterflies in her stomach.
"Maybe", came the uncertain reply.
"Maybe?", Twilight frowned at her. "Pinkie Pie, you said we would be safe here."
"No, my twitching said so! You've got to listen, Twilight!"
Twilight wanted to make a retort, but then tried to suppress a growl when she reminded herself this was Pinkie Pie she was talking to.
"Eh, whatever, let's look around", the violet pony said in resigned annoyance. All went to the stairs in order to find whatever new secrets awaited them.
"The hell is dat?", the orange pony asked aloud. The group reached what it looked like a circular road which crossed alongside them. In front of them was a small round entrance. Twilight just shrugged and all went to the other entrance.
"Interesting", she whispered. It appeared to be some kind of lounge. Two yellow couches were standing in the middle, between them a small table made out of metal. Several stairs and entrances trailed across the endings of the room, leading to different directions.
"Finally, a resting place!", Spike said happily and jumped on one of the couches. He slept in abruptly. Twilight Sparkle smiled and shook her head in sympathy. She had forgotten that Spike was still a baby dragon and needed rest.
"Resting is a good idea, actually", Rainbow Dash snapped in and occupied the other couch. "I got to catch up all the napping I missed."
The others joined soon and slept on the floor. The resting went for a few hours until Twilight Sparkle woke up and found Applejack awake. She was carrying Twilight headlights around her neck.
"You alright, AJ?", the violet unicorn asked her. Applejack blinked and turned to her.
"Ah, mornin' Twilight. Ah have jus' been explorin' dis whale-thing.", she replied, a sheepish smile on her face.
"And?", Twilight questioned her, standing rigid now.
"Can't say much. Ah found several door back there in dat big hole. And some more where the stairs go downstairs, but ah dunno how to open any of dem. But this might interest ye."
She guided Twilight through the hole, leading to a long corridor with several entrances at the sides. The only one without a door seemed to be a kitchen. At the end of the corridor was a stairway. Both went up and found themselves in a large room. Like on those small houses they found in the streets, it has windows plastered all over them. And in the middle was a large desk and other weird looking objects. One particular was a round golden chair with panels installed on it.
"What is this?", Twilight Sparkle asked and studied the weird looking things.
"Ah dunno, Twi. Ah guess mah horizon is as far as mah apple farm is not to get this.", AJ replied, a bitter chuckle leaving her voice. The violet pony blushed in shame.
"AJ, I am sorry I have said that. I didn't want to hurt your feelings.", she apologized to the orange pony.
"Ah am sorry too, Twi. If it weren't for mah bickerin' we would've had an escape out of this ponydamn cave. And ah know ah was wrong about yer intellect. Ye have been right. Ye always have been right", AJ sighed in defeat and lowered her head, blushing in shame aswel. "Can ye forgive ol' Applejack?"
Twilight neared her and stubbed her with her snooze. "Oh course I can. We are friends after all."
"Woah, what is that?", Rainbow Dash asked out loud, who flew up the stairs to the other two ponies. Pinkie Pie and Rarity joined soon after.
"I don't know, but it seems like a control panel." Twilight scouted the area and then found something she was able to make use of: a book. She opened it and read a few pages quietly. Rainbow Dash however noticed a weird looking object which resembled a surfing board.
"Hey, this is a manual. It implies this whale-thing is a ship or some sort.", Twilight informed the other ponies, absorbed in the contents of the book. "Please don't touch anything, until I can make any sense of-"
Suddenly loud music filled the room, full guitar beats and other heavy metal music kicking in as if Scratch started her party music. A voice started singing out of nowhere:
Don't wanna be the one to pop your cherry, girl...
"WAAAH!", Rainbow Dash jumped back surprised from the button she just pushed, and landed on another one. Suddenly she flew to the air again. Only this time she didn't do it on her own. "What the-"
"Rainbow Dash, what have ye done?", Applejack shouted at the blue pegasus shocked who was also levitating in the air.
"I didn't do anything, I swear!", she tried to excuse herself panicked and started pushing buttons to undo her mistake. Suddenly lights are shooting up in the whole ship, weird light windows popping out everywhere.
"Rainbow, stop it!", Twilight Sparkle shouted at her angry, trying to walk in the air to reach her, but to no avail. The book was trying to flow away, but the violet unicorn could catch it just in time.
Just jump a train that will bring you back to mama's side...
"Hey look, I am a sea pony!", Pinkie Pie squealed and dived with swimming gestures through the rooms. "Blub blub, blub blub, look out for the googoofish!"
"I can't believe it!", Twilight said then, calming herself down and realizing the matter at hand. "I...I am flying! Without any wings or magic!", she disregarded her first attempt to walk and instead dived through the air like Pinkie Pie. "It is incredible!"
"Ahhh, I just wish I had my old wings back...", Rarity sighed as she looked behind her back as she floated passively, remembering how it was flying with wings.
Suddenly a huge tremor erupted within this room, making the other ponies separating from each other much more. It happened again. Somehow, they heard slamming sounds which caused even bigger eruptions.
Knock on, knock on, knock on the door, buyin' a one way ticket out of your mind...
"W-what's happening?", the ponies hear Spike scream downstairs, followed by several meeps from Fluttershy. Spike pushed a scared to death Fluttershy as if she was a statue in order to join with the rest of the group. Again a tremble erupted.
Pinkie Pie was trembling on full force once more and went zigzag on the air. "OOOOOOHHH-NOOOOOO, MY TWITCHING! IT HAS FOUND US!", she yelled shocked.
Again a tremble erupted.
Knock on, knock on, knock on the sky...
"Rainbow Dash, bring us down to the floor this instance!", Applejack screamed at Rainbow Dash, loosing her patience while she tried to swim to the ground again. Another slam came.
You keep on knockin' better ask yourself why...
"How am I supposed to stop this? I don't know how any of this works!", Rainbow Dash barked back annoyed and looked for more buttons to push. The next slam caused Applejack to land on another button, this time stopped the levitation and suddenly everypony land on their butt or head harshly. Twilight Sparkle didn't had so much luck and her head knocked on the bar she concluded was a cockpit. Her head was spinning and was seeing flying Rainbow Dashs and Spikes around her. Soon the next eruption made her getting back her senses and looked out of the window.
You keep pushin' and you will see my chilly yellow eyes...
Only one time...
Suddenly from the window there were several huge eyes looking into the ponies' ones, glowing in an unholy light like golden coins. It was to dark to make out what it was, it seemed like darkness itself became alive.
"Oh no", Twilight Sparkle whispered shocked. Whatever was out there suddenly screamed in a high pitch growl, revealing its thousands of teethes, and slammed on the glass. And it slammed on it again. Suddenly the glass started to crack due the brutal force.
Knock on, knock on, knock on the door...
Be happy living in your nuclear life...
"We have to get out of here!", Twilight Sparkle shouted to the other ponies who were regrouping themselves around her.
"Are ye crazy? We can't get out of here, whatever is out there will eat us. And yer balloon is kaputt, remember?", Applejack was shouting back nervously.
"There may be another way. This ship here could transport us out of the cave", she said back, getting in her analysis mode and studied the book she found. "But I can't get any out of it how this thing works. Does anyone know what Autopilot means?". The others were looking at each other with weird looks and were trembling again out of the slamming from outside.
"Oh Twilight, you know what they say", Pinkie Pie chided in and jumped towards the cockpit. "If you don't know how to bake a cake, try without receipt!"
Twilight frowned as the pinkie pony started to sing while pulling different levels and pushing buttons randomly, her singing somehow following the rhythmic of the song.
Knock on the sky, you keep on knockin' better ask yourself why...
And, surprisingly, the ship started to hum to live, and to everypony's surprise, started to move. It took the monster outside out of surprise and it lost its halt as the ship pushed him away.
You keep pushin' and you will feel my frozen beastly bite...
Only one time...
Pinkie Pie licked her lips out of concentration and pushed more buttons and panels, her lower hoofs tapping to the rhythm of the music. Everypony hoped the pink pony knew what she did. The monster was getting up again and wanted to tackle the ship from the behind, opening it's yap widely to bite it. However, out of the holes flared hot burning fire into it's mouth, and the insides of it was cooked alive. It fell on the ground and died instantly.
The ship sped towards the point where the ponies and the dragon landed with the balloon. As Pinkie saw the basked, she moved one panel out with full force. "Com'ooooon, do it for mommy!", she whispered to the cockpit.
And as if the music was singing about this moment, the ship moved an angle of 90 degrees flew towards the surface at incredible speed, almost matching Rainbow Dash's Sonicboom. Applejack's face became green and something vile came from her throat and filled her cheeks. She run down the stairs out of her vertigo problem. Soon the ponies saw the natural light of the sun once more as they dashed through the Everfree forest, reaching the sky.
Everypony was shouting "We did it!" and hugged each other happily. After they calmed themselves down, they realized they fell from one problem to the other.
"Ehhh, how do we land this thing?", Spike asked, scratching his head.
"Oh, you want to land? No problemo, Spiko!", Pinkie Pie said and lowered a panel.
"Pinkie Pie, wait-!", Twilight wanted to stop her, but it was to late.
Zecora's head was sitting on her staff and was concentrating. Meditation was a real skill to be learned through many years to reach inner peace. It was like being in heaven.
Suddenly a huge eruption caused her staff to fly away and she fell on her face. Dizzy in her head, she trotted outside to see what the cause of the quake was. The zebra regained her senses quickly and widened her eyes in shock. Something really big just landed before her hut just inches away, something she has never seen before.
"Did I do that?", she asked herself, scratching her head with her hoof.
"Yay, this was fun!", Pinkie Pie squealed happily and turned to her friends who were all hugging each other and trembling all over. "Let's do that again!"
"NOOO!", they all screamed at her, causing the pink pony to fall on her back. After everypony calmed down again, they planned it was about time to go out and never talk about this ever again. As they turned to the exit they found an orange pony in front of them. Applejack's face was no longer green but pale as bleach.
"Applejack, you don't look so good", Twilight Sparkle said in a concerned voice "I can't blame you, however, since this was one hell of a ride-"
"Ah think ah have jus' seen an angel", she just said plainly, her look really unfocused.
Everyone remained silent, and wondered if Applejack was getting delusional from the flight. Then, of all ponies, Twilight Sparkle started to chuckle, followed by the chuckle of the others. Then everypony except AJ were laughing their behinds off.
"Oooh man, that was a good one! I didn't know you were such a good kidder, Applejack!", Rainbow Dash said while laughing out loud and flapping in the air.
"Ah ain't making this up",she just encountered firmly. Suddenly the laughter died slowly, and confusion spread throught the room. "There is an angel back there in those cabins.", her voice was getting weaker. "An...angel", she muttered before bumped to the ground softly.
"Applejack!", Twilight shot up and jumped over to her friend. She pulled her up carefully and asked: "What are you talking about?"
"He's...he's back there. Up there in this cabin", Applejack said. "Just push the red button beside the door and it'll open." The ponies did so as she told, reaching a giant round metal door in the long corridor. Rainbow Dash pushed the red button beside it, and the door rolled to the unknown, revealing its entrance. It was lit up thanks to the blue pegasus' random button smashing. The room they entered appeared to be a store chamber or some sort. Several object which looked either familiar or totally alien to them were piled up here. Then they found what stood mostly out.
It looked like a coffin, a large one, black as the darkness the ponies just escaped from. However, on the top was a green window which revealed...
"Oh...by Celestia...", Twilight Sparkle gasped, seeing the head which could be seen from the window. The face of a sleeping angel.
end of – Tango with Charon -
Author's note: The lyrics are from the song "Pushing the sky" by the Seatbelts. I found it very fitting in the ship sequense, not only because RD was the one who started to play it 8P.
And if I described the insights of the Bebop wrongly, please inform me. I was rewatching the show to make anything out of it, but to no avail. The animators didn't seem to give a decent blueprint of the ship.
And yeah, if anyone is up betareading my things, just add it in the reviews, I will give them betaread status. If I figured out how this feature works, of course.