Your Daily Dose of Legal Disclaimers
'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' and its derivatives are the intellectual property of Hasbro, Inc.
'Warhammer 40K' and its derivatives are the intellectual property of Games Workshop Group plc.
I do claim to own rights to any of the names, settings, or other intellectual properties of the aforementioned groups. Though it would be totally awesome if I could...
Ponyville 40k: Dawn of Friendship
It is the 41st Millenium. For more than a hundred centuries, the Empress Celestia has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Canterlot. She is the master of ponykind by the will of the gods and master of a million worlds by the friendship of her inexhaustible armies. She is the Alicorn of all Equestria for whom a thousand souls visit every day so that she may never truly be alone.
Yet even in her solemn state, the Empress continues her eternal vigilance. Vast fleets cross the chaos-infested miasma of the Warp, the only route between distant stars, their way lit by the Astronomican, the magical manifestation of the Empress`Will. Vast armies spread friendship in her name on uncounted worlds. Greatest amongst her agents are the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Mareines - blessed, enchanted super-ponies. And their comrades in hooves are legion: the Equestrian Guard and countless Planetary Welcoming Forces, the ever-vigilant Inquisition, the zealous Adeptus Fraternis, and the Tech-Ponies of the Adeptus Mechanicolt to name only a few. But for all their multitude, they are barely enough to hold off the ever-present threat from the hateful, the bigoted, the selfish...and worse.
To be a pony in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the friendliest and most caring regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of hated and greed, for in the bright future there is only harmony. There is peace amongst the stars, an eternity of friendship and sharing, and the laughter of young fillies.
My name is Twilight Sparkle of her Majesty`s Most Holy Inquisition, the Ordo Harmonious. Mine was a life spent in service and solitude - to study the wonders of magic and ensure harmony is maintained throughout the Equestria. I used to wonder what friendship could be...until they shared its magic with me...
Though the centuries that I had spent serving alongside Inquisitor Twilight Sparkle are long behind me, it was at the behest of the Inquisition that I release her personal memoir collection to the general public. Personally, I would have preferred to have kept the inner thoughts of my dearest friend as private as they had meant to be, the thousandth anniversary of her passing made me reconsider. She was a hero and an inspiration to countless billions and in this current day and age, I felt that what the Equestrium needed most was a hero.
Unfortunately, most of Twilight's writings and musings were done under the assumption that the records would only ever be read by fellow Inquisitors who were as well-versed in advanced sciences and sorcery. I've taken the liberty to add what footnotes I can to help clarify issues for those of you lacking degrees in Equestrian history or Warp Theology.
The Dawn of Friendship
"Do not waste your tears for I was not born to watch the galaxy grow dim. Life is measured not in years but by the deeds of ponies."
-final worlds of the God-Empress Celestia before her internment within the Golden Throne
Every pony knows the story of the Luna Heresy. It was during the height of the Great Crusade, when the God-Empress Celestia still walked amongst us mortal ponies, that our great Equestrium was nearly torn asunder. The Great Crusade was supposed to be the journey that united all under the stars in harmony and compassion but instead we were thrown into total chaos. The Alicorn Luna, most favoured sister of the God-Empress, she who was supposed to be the greatest of us all, fell to the dark powers of Chaos. Fueled by hatred and jealousy, she became twisted and corrupted, until all that was good within her ceased to exist. And like wild fire, the chaos spread through the legions of the space mareines and the ponies of the Equestrium. At its peak, fully half of all the Equestrium had fallen to madness, twisted by the will of the dark god of Chaos, Discord. All of ponykind stood on the precipice of despair and would have fallen too were it not for the courage and compassion of the God-Empress and those loyal to harmony. During the Siege of Canterlot, the God-Empress herself confronted Luna and utilizing the power of the Relic of Harmony, she banished the traitorous Luna into the warp. Without its leader, the rebellion soon fell apart – some fled into the warp in pursuit of Luna but many would regain their sanity and compassion once removed from the influence of Chaos. The Luna Heresy was finished…but at a terrible cost. The once-proud armies of the space mareines and Equestrian Guard were in complete disarray, bonds of friendship and camaraderie ruined beyond recovery. And most terrible of all, the loss of her most beloved sister left the God-Empress in a shattered state of despair and sorrow. It is said that she could not even look a pony in the face without being reminded of her loss and falling further into anguish. With the fate of the entire Equestrium dependent on the light of Celestia's smile, which powered the Astronomican itself and kept madness and chaos from breaking through into the mortal realm, she was left with no choice but to intern herself inside an ancient machine known as the Golden Throne. Physically isolated from everything, the Golden Throne allowed the God-Empress to sustain herself by feeding off the joy and harmony of all the ponies in the Equestrium while keeping her own anguish at bay. It was a bold move but her sacrifice allowed peace, joy, and harmony to slowly return to everypony.
But our challenges did not end with the Luna Heresy. The chaos sewn by the turmoil required a new campaign to spread friendship and compassion back to the stars. And not all were content to yield to the magic of friendship, amongst the dissidents were the impulsive Buffalorks, the fickle Eldeer, and the egotistical Griffau. To make matters worse, a hundred years after the end of the Heresy, Luna breached the veil between realities and attempted a new black crusade to bring madness and despair back to the Equestrium. That time, however, our harmony and friendship was strong enough to withstand her invasion and we were able to push her back into the warp. Two hundred years after that, Luna breached the warp once more and once again was vanquished. For the next ten thousand years, Luna would continue to return, each time more powerful than the last. But it has been almost five thousand years since Luna's last attempt…many ponies have long since forgotten the looming threat and the stories of the Luna Heresy had become regarded as myth and legend.
Perhaps it is the story of the Luna Heresy, which I first heard as a young filly, that led me to become the Inquisitor that I am today. The stories of Celestia's courage, compassion, and most importantly, her magical prowess, drove me to study the intricacies of magic. It was an arduous path to walk for it is well-known that unicorns are most susceptible to the whispers and temptations from beyond the veil. Power corrupts, as they say, and there are few powers in the galaxy that rivals the power of magic. The intense study and focus needed to master the use of magic can very easily lead a pony astray from friends, colleagues, and family. It is a perilous path that I once trotted down and very nearly lost myself upon. But at the same time, it was my obsession with study that led me to the best decisions of my life and to the planet of Ponyville, where I would discover something more powerful than magic. Of course, at the time I didn't greet this travel arrangement with much tact.
"I...I'm being sent to where?" I stammered in disbelief upon first hearing the news. I had been hard at work in my study hall when the interruption came along with the news that I had once again neglected the basic necessities of sleep, food, and basic pony contact. It was hard to keep track of the days when you confined were to a windowless room, surrounded by loaded bookshelves and glowing computer lecterns, all of which was contained inside a large interstellar cruiser floating in the void of space. I was often able to keep track of the passage of time by the number of open tomes scattered across my desk and judging by the fact that my desk was completely blanketed in parchment, it had been at least two days, if not more.(1)
Spike, my ever-faithful dragon assistant, was fully prepared for my reaction and had brought along a stellar map. "The planet of Ponyville," he explained plainly as he set the map down upon my desk. It took him a few seconds but eventually he managed to finally point out the planet's location in a tiny star cluster located in Segmentum Caudis.
"But…that's in the middle of nowhere!" I exclaimed once I had taken a closer look.
"We're in deep space, everything is in the middle of nowhere," Spike answered, unmoved by my staunch objections. "Besides, these orders came from Celestia herself, you have to follow them."
Now, despite my assistant's insistence as to the authority of my orders, I was under no such illusion. Every pony with any understanding of history knew that Celestia hadn't spoken directly to any pony since her internment in the Golden Throne. What we had instead were the orders of some high-ranking official who slapped the Empress' name onto the orders to add the weight of the authority of the Royal Court. And even if the Empress, in all her infinite power, was aware of my current situation, I was hard-pressed to believe that she would issue such an order. After all, I was the one who kept sending the Royal Court missives about my research into the next invasion of Chaosmistress Luna. Of all the ponies to understand the importance of my research, I would expect her to be at the forefront, encouraging my research rather than attempting to stymie it. In my arrogant youth, the notion of being in the wrong never occurred to me and I had considered the possibility that perhaps somepony in the bureaucratic behemoth of the Administratum was attempting to sabotage my efforts for any number of reasons. Perhaps it was in retaliation for my three hundred and eighty page dissertation on why the Administratum, the bureaucratic center of the entire Equestrium, was operated by block-headed cronies with the inertia of a beached whale.(2) Some ponies just couldn't take criticism. I refused to believe that my orders were genuine even after I had snatched them from Spike's hands and read them over thoroughly.
"By the authority of the office of the Golden Throne and our immortal God-Empress, Inquisitor Twilight Sparkle of the Ordo Harmonious is hereby ordered to proceed to the planet of Ponyville with all speed," I read aloud slowly and deliberately, as if some error in the wording would somehow relieve me of these absurd directives. "The Feast of the Empress' Ascension is commencing soon and the God-Empress has decreed that no expense shall be spared in order to ensure that the festivities are carried out without incident and in a fashion befitting of the harmony and compassion of the…blah, blah, blah…" By that point I had given in, sighing in resignation as I slammed my head upon my desk. I could not help but wonder what I had done in past lives to earn the ire of the universe to be treated so poorly. To babysit a planet of ponies having a banquet, no matter how significant the occasion was, was beneath the hooves a pony of my standing. One may as well send space mareines to polish the Golden Throne. "This is horrible!"
"Look on the bright side Twilight, at least we get to hang around for the festival. There's always big parades, theatre performances, magic shows, and all that delicious food! It'd be a blast. You could even make some new friends," Spike said in a lame attempt to console me. Of course he would enjoy the idea of food and partying – being my assistant was a full-time position and any opportunity to escape from his usual duties were welcomed with the enthusiasm of a puppy at the sight of a shiny, red ball.
"Don't you get it Spike? We are standing on the precipice of pandemonium!"
"A preci-what?" Spike repeated with a confused look.
"The brink of bedlam! The verge of villainy! The doorway of disaster!"
Despite my repeated attempts to get the message across, the blank stare Spike gave me in return told me that my words were soaring over his head like a stellar cruiser. "Come again?" he finally replied.(3)
"Something very bad is going to happen soon. Haven't you been paying attention to any of my research these past five weeks?" No sooner did those words leave my lips did I realize how silly they sounded. This was Spike I was talking to – he got bucked off conversations if I used a four-syllable word. "Forget it, let me explain it to you," I quickly corrected myself and magically grabbed several tomes from the nearby bookshelves. "As you know, ever since Luna's defeat millennia ago, she has been attempting to finish what she had started by piercing the veil between the warp and reality," I explained, being very careful to use small words for Spike to grasp.
"Uh-huh…" he muttered quietly, nodding as he followed my hooves across the tomes.
"After each attempt, it has taken her longer and longer to pierce the veil and start a new invasion but at the same time it has taken more friendship, magic, and harmony to push her and her ponies back. We haven't had an invasion in nearly five thousand years, which means the next invasion could potentially be as powerful as the Luna Heresy itself!"
"Now we used to believe that the delay was a result of her recovering her forces and her power and that her point of entry from the warp was random."
Opening a fresh tome, I showed Spike a series of star maps of the previous breaches through the warp, each of which were noted with the date and time of the incursion. "My research has shown that Luna's invasions are not random at all but instead rely upon the astrological arrangement of particular star cluster, which cause localized distortions of the boundaries between the warp and reality."
"Meaning if I can determine the next star cluster that will fall into the required alignment, I can accurately predict the time and location of the next warp distortion Chaosmistress Luna will use. My calculations thus far have narrowed the date window down but I need more time to make the precise measurements needed for accurate calculations."
"Still not following you Twilight."
"I need to figure out when and where Luna will show up so we can stop her from doing bad things!" I snapped back at Spike in frustration. Once again, I was taking my frustration out on Spike but as always he remained unfazed by these mood swings. "And I can't figure these things out because all my stupid star charts are four hundred years out of date! What blockhead of a pony thought it was a good idea to only send out cartographers every half-millennium?" That last fact was the coup de grace on the fountain of frustrations that was currently raining misery upon me. I let out a frustrated cry and slammed my head into my desk once more, kicking all the loose paper into the air.
Spike, knowing full well that my mood had a tendency to lash out at anything nearby with a pulse, made the wise decision to find a new means to pacify my temper. "Tell you what Twilight, I'm going to go set a course for Ponyville and then I'm going to put on a pot of tea."
"Tea…would be divine," I said, managing a weary smile. Through all the hardships I've faced, Spike was always there for me – knowing exactly what I needed before I even realized I needed it. As he departed from my study, I returned my attention to my outdated charts to continue with my research. I was determined to find the solution to Luna's looming return, even if nopony believed me.
By a small bout of good fortune, my cruiser was not far from Ponyville when I received my new orders. It would be several days of warp travel(4) before I reached Ponyville and I made sure that the limited time I had was used wisely and efficiently. I poured over piles of calculations and old star charts, scoured through ancient tomes for clues, and even attempted a small-scale recreation of stellar alignments in order to better understand its effects on the boundaries to the warp. With a hint of pride I must report that my experiment succeeded beyond my expectations, recreating the kind of warp-rift Luna had used in the past. With that knowledge, I was able to better predict where the eventual rift would open, although my estimates still covered several star systems, including Ponyville. Unfortunately, my experiment worked too well and I wound up accidentally summoning a lesser daemon-pony of Discord onto the ship. Spike and I spent the better part of a day chasing the little monster down and by the time we sent him back through the rift, he had succeeded in transforming half of my ship's crew into various potted plants and small rodents; inverted the gravity fields throughout the living quarters; and flooded five decks with liquid soap, turning my engineering department into a massive slip-n-slide. By the time I got my crew and ship back in order, we had arrived triumphantly at our destination – stronger, wiser, and lemony-fresh.
After arguing fruitlessly with Spike that I could have maintained just as efficient a vigilance from orbit, I gathered my things and met him in the hangar bay for our departure to the planet surface. I figured that since I had exhausted my resources aboard my ship, not to mention made the crew extremely nervous around the mere mentioning of 'experiments,' I decided that my next course of action would be to take advantage of the facilities on Ponyville. The local observation stations and librariums might have more accurate star charts for the sector. By the time I had collected my research notes and got to the hangar bay, Spike was already loading some of our travel essentials onto the Pegasus-class landing craft we'd be taking. "Got everything in order Spike?" I asked upon my arrival.
"Aye, Inquisitor!" he replied with a crisp salute. While his mood had improved substantially since his brief time spent as a ficus tree,(5) I on the other hoof was still viewing my time on Ponyville with a mixed sense of disgust and trepidation. As always, Spike was fully prepared for my insistence on performing a last minute check on all our supplies – a trip from orbit to surface took several hours and I was not about to turn a landing craft around because Spike forgot his lucky sapphire again.
"Let's see...star charts – check; city maps – check; calculation cogitator – check; lunch – check; snacks for Spike – check; auspex scanner – check; Inquisitional badge – check." I continued through my checklist without incident until near the very end, stopping abruptly and asking my assistant, "Hey Spike, did you see where I left the Relic of Harmony?"
"I put it with your cloak," Spike answered, pointing over the square-shaped storage container that had been draped with a black cloth. "I'm really surprised that the Administratum just let you borrow the Relic of Harmony – the most sacred artifact in the entire Equestrium; never seen or held since the end of the Luna Heresy when Empress Celestia used it to banish her sister into the warp."
I chuckled lightly to myself, amused not only at Spike reverence to the artifact but also the fact that he still thought I had acquired it through the normal channels. "I'm more surprised that it's been five years and they still haven't even noticed I've taken it in the first place. Those colts in the Administratum would lose track of the Golden Throne if it wasn't bolted to the floor."
"Do you want me to pack the armour?" Spike asked as I continued my pre-departure checklist.
"I'd rather avoid drawing attention to myself," I said after giving it a moment's thought. Being an Inquisitor meant being one of the most visible symbols of the Royal Court's authority. If I were to wear visible armour, I might as well have brought a giant sign along that said 'I'm important, pester me with your problems.' Time was of the essence and I couldn't waste it helping every pony with a moral dilemma or disagreement. Still, I always prided myself on my preparedness so some protection was going to be needed. "Maybe just grab a portable hate deflector...oh, and maybe a few lazepistols."
If Spike wasn't in a good mood already, he was after the mentioning of 'lazepistols.' I could only peg his fascination with such technology to being a 'guy thing' since he could already breathe fire so it wasn't as though Spike was defenseless. Personally, I always preferred using my magic but one could not ignore the pacifying effects of a well-placed laze-shot. However, in his zeal, Spike didn't hear the part where I said 'a few' and returned from the armoury carrying an armload of lazepistols and lazeguns. "Please be careful with those," I tried to warn my assistant. Alas, my words came too late as he clumsily lost his hold on some of the weapons, causing the entire pile to come crashing down. In the clatter, one of the lazeguns went off, firing a stray sleep-inducing energy bolt.
When I regained consciousness several hours later, I discovered that Spike had been thoughtful enough to load me onto the Pegasus lander, along with the rest of our cargo. Having deprived myself of sleep during my rigorous studies, the forcibly-induced nap was arguably for the best as I awoke feeling refreshed and in far better spirits than before.(6) Spike had laid me to rest in the lander's passenger quarters but once awake, I immediately made my way to the cockpit to check on our status. "Morning sleepy head," Spike greeted upon my arrival.
"Morning," I said before letting out a hefty yawn. He was lucky that the nap left me in a good mood, otherwise I would have spent the rest of the trip down to the surface lecturing him on proper safety protocols. As it were, I was content just to let things be and took a seat next to my trusty pilot. "How much further until we're there?"
"We'll be over the main hub of Ponyville (7) in less than an hour," Spike explained. "We're just about to exit the lower...um, air...layer thing."
"The atmosphere?" I suggested.
"Yeah, that thing." As the Pegasus lander continued its descent at a steady pace, I made myself comfortable and began reviewing my research notes. There was still a lot of work to be done and I wasn't going to waste any of it sitting idly watching the clouds go by. Spike was still as excited as ever to be planetside during a Feast of the Empress' Ascension. It was, after all, one of the grandest holidays in the Equestrium - a celebration of when the Empress Celestia ascended into godhood. Ponies across the Equestrium gathered for these huge feasts in festivals that could span entire planets. Canterlot itself becomes inundated every year with millions of pilgrims all attempting to catch a glimpse of the Golden Throne. I even made the trek long ago when I still just a filly. I had to stand on my father's back just to see even a glimpse of the Golden Throne over the hordes of other ponies. It was my pilgrimage to the Golden Throne that first got me interested in the old stories of the God-Empress and the Luna Heresy. I would be lying if I said I didn't feel some temptation to partake in some of the festivities but I had more important responsibilities and the fate of the galaxy did not hinge upon me making friends and having fun.
I briefly gazed out the window but could see little else but clear blue skies. Ponyville itself was a relatively unremarkable planet. It was heavily developed with most of the surface covered by urban sprawl and what wasn't built upon was either water, farmland, or mountainous terrain. At least the planet was relatively unpolluted, as noted by the clear skies, due primarily to the facts that Ponyville had only a minor industrial sector and its remote location meant interplanetary traffic was relatively low. In fact, the skies were almost completely devoid of any other air traffic, an anomaly that should have made me suspicious but I was too preoccupied to realize it at the time. When we were low enough for me to finally get a decent view of the city below, what I saw was equally uninspiring. Perhaps to the ponies that lived there, the pre-classical era architecture (8) was probably very appealing and gave the city a less modern, more warm and welcoming feel but as a pony who had been to dozens of worlds in the past, it really did look like every other developed Equestrian world.
Unfortunately, any hope I had of a peaceful flight to study was thrown out the window just as I was thrown out of my chair when the lander suddenly made a hard turn to starboard. Thankfully, the steel-plated floors broke my fall (and almost my shoulder). "Spike! What did I tell you about trying out things you saw in holo-vids?"
"I had to – we almost hit something," Spike quickly insisted.
Once I managed to peel myself off the floor, I stepped over to the cockpit window to see what the hay Spike felt necessitated such an erratic manoeuvre. All I saw were a handful of white clouds and the vast, sprawling cityscape of Ponyville miles below us. "Was it a bird or something?"
"I...think it was a rainbow."
"Spike don't be ridiculous," I scoffed as I went back to my seat. "Rainbows are an phenomenon created by refracted beams of light. You can't 'hit' a rainbow anymore than you can hit a-...rainbow!" I had thought all my studies in magic had left mentally prepared for even the most bizarre sights imaginable but there were no words to describe what I felt when I saw a rainbow suddenly streaking across the cockpit and right towards the lander (other than 'evade!'). Spike veered the lander hard to port but whatever we were evading still hit the ship with tremendous force, throwing it into a free-falling spin. "Spike! Do something!" I shouted as the rotary force threw me against the cockpit wall.
"I'm trying!" he shouted, clinging to the control sticks as the spiraling vessel tried to buck him off. But then, just as suddenly as the madness began, it stopped as the lander stabilized and ground to a halt. After a few seconds, the stabilizing jets kicked in and all the alarms fell silent.
"What...just happened?" I groaned, now peeling myself from the wall.
"I think we hit the rainbow," Spike said groggily. He was looking a bit green around the scales from all the turbulence but before I could offer any help, he raced off to find an airsick bag.
While I stood there wondering if Spike had remembered to pack any, my attention was drawn to a knocking sound coming from the cockpit window. Hovering right outside the window was a pegasus clad in full power barding – denoting her position as one of the Empress' space mareines. And the visible dent in her helmet was a clear indication that she was the source of our earlier turbulence. Her blue-tinted armour glistened in the sunlight, making her quite the imposing figure; and even though she had just been clocked by a several-tonne space craft, she seemed no worse for wear. In fact, she was more concerned with Spike and I. "Hey, you okay in there?" she called out to me, waving her hooves to get my attention.
"Yeah...I think we're okay," I replied hesitantly. With Spike currently reacquainting himself with breakfast there was no pilot to keep the lander under control if something else went wrong, which I wasn't going to rule out given how well the ride had been thus far.
"You really should be more careful when you're flying. I can't always be around to save the day, you know. No need to thank me by the way – it's all in a day's work!"
It took a lot of mental will power to resist the urge to remind the mareine that she was the one flying recklessly, not Spike. "Well, I'm really grateful for the assistance miss...uh..."
"Rainbow Dash of the Ultraponies 4th company," the mareine introduced herself.(9) "Now, uh...I gotta ask you leave. Sarge ordered me to keep the skies clear of all traffic."
"And you do that by hitting them with your head?" I asked, questioning the mareines seemingly bizarre choice of traffic control. I doubt that was actually her intent but it seemed counter-intuitive to be pulling such manoeuvres when you're supposed to be maintaining a no-fly zone.
Rainbow Dash merely laughed in response. "That was just me kicking back and taking a break. Actually, noponies flown through here all day so I've just been practicing some of my slick aerobatics," she explained before flying a short figure-eight pattern. "Check this one out, I call it the rainbow blitz." Eager to show off her technique for whatever reason, the pegasus flew off, returning seconds later flying in a sort of spinning, helical pattern. Since the full extent of my knowledge of aerobatics could be written on the back of a cocktail napkin, I just smiled and nodded in my best attempt at looking like I was impressed. Once she had finished showboating, she fluttered back over and informed me, "Seriously though, you gotta move your ship elsewhere."
"I would but unfortunately my pilot is kind of tossing his cookies at the moment," I explained. And judging by the sound of Spike's retching in the other room, he had worked passed the cookies and was onto the breakfast sandwiches.
"Seriously? What do I look like? A towing service?" Rainbow replied sardonically.
"No but I am an Inquisitor," I answered hesitantly, having to resort to pulling out the inquisitional trump card. The authority of my office outweighed virtually every other body in the Equestrium but I was always reluctant to make use of it. While I wasn't in the mood for making friends, that didn't mean I was prepared to get on everypony's bad side just to get my way. And just in case Rainbow Dash didn't believe me, I quickly flashed her my Inquisitional badge.
At first, the pegasus reacted in the typical fashion most ponies do when confronted by a Inquisitor, gasping incredulously. But then she suddenly pressed herself against the window like a filly staring through the glass window-front of a pet shop. "Oh! That means you know the Wonderbolts! Have you ever worked with them before? Are they really as awesome as everypony says? Do you think you can put in a good word for me with them? Oh, do you think you could arrange a meeting with Spitfire? I've studied all her moves!"(10) she blurted out at a speed far greater than any of her previous aerobatics. For the uninitiated, the Wonderbolts are a space mareine chapter that recruited its members from other chapters rather than recruiting initiates from the general population, thus making them one of the most elite units of harmony in the galaxy. They also worked almost exclusively at the behest of the Inquisition. It wasn't quite the reaction I had been hoping for but at least I had her attention.
"Well...I suppose I could," I mused slyly. "But they wouldn't exactly be interested in a pegasus that just leaves an Inquisitor strand-aggh!" My masterful plan to talk Rainbow into assisting worked a lot faster than I had anticipated. As a result, the lander's sudden burst of acceleration threw me out of the cockpit, through the passenger quarters, and into the wall at the far end of the cargo hold. One would think after the first two times I would have learned to have put on a darn seat belt. And given how wonderful my luck had been running thus far, I knew that the ship would eventually come to just as violent a halt and I'd be launched back into the cockpit. My only hope was that the windshield was strong enough to prevent me from being turned into the galaxy's first pony torpedo.(11) As it turned out, the cockpit window was indeed strong enough to take the full-force of a head-on impact from a pony being launched at near-sonic speeds. Thus, I became the bug splat upon the windshield rather than the cannonball from the barrel. And because the universe decided that I should forfeit my dignity as well as any sensation in my face, Rainbow Dash came around to the front of the lander while I was still plastered against the windshield. At least somepony was having a good time, as the pegasus fell into a fit of laughter at my expense. Never before in my life had a simple trip from orbit to a planet's surface been so painful, humiliating, and mentally exhausting...and that's including the one time I was jettisoned out of a garbage compactor. Sadly, if I thought things were going to get any easier, I was horribly mistaken.
1 It had been four.
2 Twilight's Ninety-Five Theses on the Inefficiencies and Redundancies of Bureaucracy was at one point listed as the number one publication in the genre of comedic non-fiction. The only pony to hate that fact more than the Headmaster of the Administratum was Twilight.
3 In my defence, dragis was my native tongue and at that age my grasp of pony languages was shaky at best.
4 Alas, traveling through a dimension that laughed in the face of the laws of physics meant time spent in the warp did not equal time passed for the rest of the galaxy. We spent eight days in the warp but emerged seventeen days later.
5 To this day, I still can't look at a fig without breaking into a cold sweat.
6 A tactic that I've used far more often then she realizes. Half of the times she 'fell asleep' at her desk were actually because of a well-placed shot from yours truly. Who needs a lullaby?
7 Since the planet Ponyville had only one city that spanned half of the planet's surface, the city shared the same name as the planet. The main hub was the de facto capital due to the Governor's palace being in the same district. Twilight often used the term 'Ponyville' to refer either the planet or the city since they were essentially synonymous.
8 Pre-classical architecture favours lateral development as opposed to vertical. It's actually quite uncommon since most planets are too populated for it work. As such Ponyville had fewer than average spires and other high-rise buildings.
9 The Ultrapony barge, Cloudsdale had left a detachment of space mareines, under the command of Sgt. Rose, to aid with Ponyville's buffalork problem
10 So has every other pegasus space mareine in the past one thousand years. Spitfire literally wrote the book on the modern aerobatic and tactics and it's said every true pegasus memorizes the book cover to cover before taking their first flight. I'm still convinced that Rainbow Dash has yet to ever even crack open a book...
11 Actually, the galaxy's first pony torpedo was space mareine Captain Sea Swirl of the Crimson Hooves who was launched from the cruiser Star Gazer in an unsuccessful attempt to board a buffalork transport. She was rescued a week later, having crash-landed on a nearby moon.